An Art Pedagogy for a Changing Artworld
What interesting times we are in! Never before has the domain of fine art been so wide! Never before has such a wide range of technological facilities, materials and processes been available to artists. And never before have artists and teachers had at their disposal such a burgeoning range of theoretical bases from which practice and teaching might emanate. This theme is elaborated. So how can we begin to evaluate art in this complex of interesting times? Hegel identified a space for art which still seems tenable: halfway between 'intellectual understanding' and 'sensual experience'. For Hegel, the distinguishing feature of art is the "sensual presentation of the idea"(Hegel, in Graham 1997:174). This paper extrapolates from Hegel's position a pair of criteria which may help in the assessment of students' artworks: the notion of 'conceptual intrigue', or the degree to which a work affords viewers fresh intellectual insights on the theme to which the work alludes; and the notion of 'perceptual intrigue', the degree to which the manipulation of the material qualities of the work may stimulate perceptual experiences which cause the gaze to linger,and perceptual complacencies be challenged. In conclusion, five premises from which a curriculum for fine art teaching may be elaborated are presented, and illustrated with examples of student work.
Keywords: Art Pedagogy, Conceptual Intrigue, Perceptual Intrigue
Prof. Howard Riley
Head of School of Research, Dynevor Centre for the Arts