by Beth Bradford
for grades 9-12
Introduction Task Sources Process Guidance Conclusion
Today, we are going to begin an exploration of a movement in American painting called Abstract Expressionism. This was the first painting movement to be uniquely American. The impact of the images, and the ideas that generated them, profoundly affected the subsequent creation of art and the public's definition of art. Let's discover Abstract Expressionism and some of its artists.
The student will participate in this WebQuest in order to introduce themselves to the movement of Abstract Expressionism. It is a key movement in the history of 2-dimensional art. The philosophy of Abstract Expressionism, and the way the artists view the surface of the painting, has profoundly affected art and commercial design since its inception. It is a movement that every student needs to be familiar with.
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction
This WebQuest is an introduction to a unit on Abstract Expressionism. The WebQuest will provide the intellectual foundation for the studio art activity that will follow. In order for the WebQuest to be done, the teacher will have to schedule a class period in the computer lab. Following the WebQuest, the students will create a painting influenced by this movement on a piece of 4' x 5' illustration board.
The WebQuest is a good medium for a self-study because the students will have an easily accessible bank of knowledge combined with good quality reproductions.
Each student could select an artist for an in depth study. The student could write a biographical essay and make a PowerPoint presentation of the paintings of the artist that they chose. A further use of this quest would be for the student to print the information about Abstract Expressionism and compile a pamphlet.
You will visit several web sites to learn the basic facts and ideas of the movement. You will write an essay describing Abstract Expressionism, and list 10 artists, with their birth and death dates, associated with this movement. Next, you will visit a web site to view the paintings for the artists in the following list:
information and list of artists
another informative site
and one more
Willem de Kooning
Which artist do you like the best?
Name some of the different kinds of paint Jackson Pollock used.
List several descriptive phrases that you would use to describe these paintings.
Pick one of those descriptive phrases that would be appropriate for the entire group.
Describe Action painting and name one artist.
Describe Colorfield painting and name one artist.
In this WebQuest, you have learned about the movement of Abstract Expressionism. You have viewed paintings by several of its most influential artists. Following the completion of your own abstract paintings, we will discuss our reflections and responses to this movement.
TN Fine Arts Curriculum Standards, Standard 2, Structures and Functions. 9-12:
Students will use knowledge of both structures and functions-
2.2 The student will analyze and critique components and expressive qualities of artworks.
2.4 The student will apply problem-solving skills to create solutions to specific visual art tasks.
TN Fine Arts Curriculum Standards, Standard 3, Evaluation 9-12:
Students will choose and evaluate a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas-
3.1 The student will demonstrate critical thinking in the selection of content in works of art.
TN Fine Arts Curriculum Standards, Standard 4, Historical and Cultural Relationships, 9-12:
Students will understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures-
4.1 The students will demonstrate an understanding of how cultural and contemporary works of art reflect and influence societies and cultures.
Artburst.com. (2002). Artburst. Retrieved March 29, 2003, from http://artburst.com/helenfrankenthaler/
Art Lex. (2002). Art lex. Retrieved March 29, 2003, from http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/a/abstractexpr.html
Guggenheim Collection. (2003). Guggenheim collection. Retrieved March 29, 2003, from http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/
Nicolas Pioch. (2002). WebMuseum, Paris. Retrieved March 29, 2003, from http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/tl/20th/abs-expr.html
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. (2000). Infoplease. Retrieved March 29, 2003, from http://www.infoplease.com/cgi-bin/id/CE000235
National Gallery of Art. (2002). National gallery of art. Retrieved March 20, 2003, from http://www.nga.gov/