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What's left in art when you take away anything that looks like something? Kandinsky did it---leaving color, line, shapes, and angles!
What makes art? What are the basic elements of any painting? Would something be art if you couldn't recognize anything in the painting? Would a painting be art if it was only lines and shapes?
A Russian painter asked these same questions. Wassily Kandinsky, born in Moscow on December 4, 1866, wanted to take away anything that looked like something in his art. He used color, line, shapes, and angles to create his art. He believed that feeling was art's most important element. The art that he pioneered is called Abstract. What do you think that term means? Provide students with access to resources about Kandinsky's life and career in art.
If Kandinsky only used lines and shapes, then where he put those became very important. This is called the composition. The word compose is used when writing music as well as making a picture.
Kandinsky used music (without words) as a model for his new Abstract art. In what ways are music and art similar? Music is made of notes that are simply sound. They communicate to the listener in a different way than words do. Look at some of the modern work by Kandinsky and others. What art elements characterize their style?
Invite students create abstract art that communicates feelings. Pose questions such as: Are you excited about an upcoming game or dance? Worried about a test? Happy that a friend is going to the movies with you? On white paper, students use Crayola® Construction Paper Crayons to draw shapes that illustrate their feelings.
Another way to make color shapes is to tear or cut construction paper with Crayola Scissors. A straight edge can help to create sharp lines and angles. Shapes can be glued on paper with a Crayola Glue Stick.
Working in pairs or small groups, students exchange their Shapes & Angles with a classmate. Encourage students to talk about the feelings Abstract art communicates.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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