< Back To Academics
The Sculpture Program at the New York Studio School invites students to engage with the potent language of tangible materials. To generate purpose for this language, we experience and reconsider: mass, space, material, form, process, touch, image, color, structure, organization, balance, rhythm, movement, context, and relationship.
Our rigorous program, taught by a small group of dedicated professional sculptors, provides an opportunity to bring together process, perception, research, and critical dialogue. Each student gains a conviction for sculpture and a foundation from which his or her work can evolve throughout a lifetime.
Afternoon Sculpture courses allow participants to study and create alongside our MFA and Certificate candidates. During the Spring semester of 2019, Jilaine Jones will lead a course on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm – 6pm and Leonid Lerman will lead a course on Thursday afternoons from 2pm – 6pm.
Structure and the Perceptual – with Jilaine Jones
Tuesdays, 2pm – 6pm
February 5th – April 30th, 2019
No Class: Tuesday, March 26th
The underpinning of all visual art is structure; structures are ideas. This course is concerned
with how structure functions in sculpture and how it also is present in the viewed world around
us. Using a range of materials, we will make an exploratory start (without the use of subject
matter) to initiate discussion and viewing of simple principles of structure. Work will then be
generated by observation – of still-life and elements set up in an area – and in response to their
relational structures, analogous sculptures will be developed. The physical and optical
experience, the internalized sensations of viewing the set-up, will be addressed as affecting the
sculpture’s ideas. Concluding activity will be sourced from ideas existent in the students
independent or previous work, or a work of art on display in a NYC museum, or a structural
Students will initially be prompted by of a set of simple principles to make several sculptures,
or experimental constructions, using a range of materials including clay, wire, wood, and
cardboard. Discussion of this work will be the starting point for an ongoing focus on how
structure itself is communicating. Again, using a series of materials, which behave differently
and bring different issues to importance, sculptures will be made in response to viewing an
inanimate set-up in space. Finally, students will choose independently – from either a structural
concept, a work of their own (3-d or 2-d), or a work of art (3-d or 2-d) to make one evolved
sculpture, or series of sculptures. Primarily evident in this last independent exercise will be that
the dynamic structure of the source is explored. Viewing and discussion of the issues and
presence of structure in art, current and past, and effects of perception, will interrupt work at
least once in the semester as well as a group viewing and discussion at a gallery or museum
Sculpture: the Body and its Language – with Leonid Lerman
Thursdays, 2pm – 6pm
February 7th – May 2nd, 2019
No Class: Thursday, March 28th
This course will focus on making use of the figure and is aimed to help students understand the
structure of the human figure through direct observation and conversion of perceptual
information into a “language of sculpture.” The goal is to cultivate the skills of
a young artist in order to create an “image,” based on “timeless
confrontation with a present moment.” (–T. McEvilley).
During the course of a semester, class will work on several projects focused around the
perceptual work from the figure:
– Sketches in clay with focus on movement, balance, proportions, 8-12”;
– Portrait. Bust from life with complex relation of head to shoulder, life size;
– Basic principles of relief sculpture. Portrait in relief;
– Half-life size figure modeling with focus on gesture, proportions, balance, sense of rhythm
and connection between different parts of the body, 24-36”;
– 3-D composition: interpretation of a classical sculpture or painting of the past. Spatial
relations in abstract and semiabstract terms (optional).
– Final discussion: the importance of the Modernist critique of traditional conventions for
present-day artists interested in working with the human figure.