Teaching the Intangible: Methodologies and Dilemmas in Teaching Abstraction as a Formal Unit in a Painting Course
"Abstraction" is a term commonly used by both educators and art students to contextualise the theoretical and visual aspects of a work of art. When an elective in a painting course is titled "Abstraction" many theoretical dilemmas may occur in its presentation. During the teaching of just such an elective the problem of situating notions of Abstraction as a multi-faceted theoretical concept within the practical setting of a painting studio-based subject presented both teachers and students with a series of conundrums. Accordingly, class discussions and exercises were devised for students to explore the nature of Abstraction, both in relation to their own practice and in the context of contemporary art practice and it's relation to history. This presentation will outline the theoretical concerns expressed by both students and staff in the completion of a formalised unit of study titled Abstraction and is to include examples of student work and opinions arising from the class.
Keywords: Contextualising, Teaching, Abstraction, Contemporary Painting, Course
Dr Phil Edwards
Lecturer, Painting Dept