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Caves, Friezes & Mysteries Painting Marathon – with Graham Nickson & Guests
Please note that Caves, Friezes & Mysteries Painting Marathon – with Graham Nickson & Guests will be taught virtually this summer. Faculty members have adapted lectures, critiques, presentations, and assignments to an online format and will maintain the high caliber of experiential learning and content that is the basis of the New York Studio School. Though in a different form, your education and experience, will continue; we look forward very much to your participation.
The earliest drawings or paintings aspired to recognize, describe, and have power over the image (animal) it sought to depict. Life and death depended on that magical power.
“With color one obtains energy that seems to extend from Witchcraft.” – Henri Matisse
The difference between “image maker” and “image seeker” in our times is a critical issue; and to understand this, we will paradoxically be going back to the origins of image making and the invention of pictorial language.
We will investigate paintings and drawings from 50,000 years ago to the present with special attention to those key works we consider paradigms. This includes the affirmative powerful female athletes in the House of the Tetrarchs, in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, the tomb of hunting and fishing in Tarquinia, Italy and The Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii.
The symbolists urged their group to be mysterious. As an ingredient, you cannot draw or paint mystery; one can only aspire or imply its presence, and make conditions available to its happening within the formal strategies and language of the work.
We will explore the images from Pompeii and elsewhere in depth in an attempt to understand why these still capture our attention and hold mystery today.
This intensive two-week painting Marathon will aim to understand our deep connections to our earliest image making ancestors. By working, at times, with a model in variable setups online, students will use the paradigms of cave painting, friezes, and Roman wall painting- particularly the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii- as guiding stars to create their own work.
Dean, Atelier Head of Painting