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Sculpture Marathon with Vincent Barré

Summer Session II

Course Description

This Sculpture Marathon will begin with an encounter. Throughout their histories, societies have produced objects essential to life, both material and symbolic: household objects, utensils, tools, furniture, clothing and coverings, ceremonial articles.

A day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in just one of the galleries of this exceptional universalist collection, will allow each student, equipped with a sketch book, to “meet” one of these necessary objects (or a family of such objects).  In a gallery of his/her own choosing (ancient, medieval or modern), each student will do a series of sketches of objects that the student believes capture the vital character of the object(s).  These drawings will form the basis of further reflection.

Envision creating an object (or series of objects) destined for some use–imagined, assumed, probable, undefined–that arises from some basic need.  An object, large or small, created by simple means out of transformable materials that can be used separately or combined: wood, clay, paper, sheet metal, fabric, linoleum, etc. Be adventurous, but be careful to choose materials that will work for your designs, in terms of their scale, stability and malleability.  Pay attention to « what the material wants, » as the distinguished architect Louis Kahn often noted.

Course Outline

Following our initial visit to the Met, the first week will be devoted to completing each student’s quick prototypes using whatever materials and techniques have been chosen.  The week will end with a joint review and critique of the results so far, with particular attention to the origins of the various concepts and each student’s intended goals.

The second week will focus on actually constructing a larger and/or more developed object (or group of objects) which will be distinguished by its strength, appropriate use of materials and vitality.  Participants will then install their objects in a well thought-out manner, and the week will end with a discussion and assessment of the shared experience.

Visiting Artist Vincent Barre will present a lecture with slides on his own works.  At the end of the Marathon, at 5 PM on Friday, June 29, Vincent Barre will show two short films that stand beside his work as a sculptor.

Learning Outcomes

This two-week long project is a “poetic exercise” that invites us to play, with deeper historic awareness and greater attention to our many-layered world; to produce objects that are unique, reasoned, and grounded in our reality; and to consider alternative bases for works of art.

 

Course Syllabus

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