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Looking & Learning Constructing "I always like to compare my work to a game of chess—fundamentally it is all about placing figures and features, something that has consequences. The one determines the other." —Neo Rauch Explore Create Beginner Show student's Al-Hadid's sculpture, Nolli's Orders (pages 22–23). Ask them to identify any familiar shapes or objects in the sculpture. Have them walk up to the image and point directly to what they see. Write the objects or body parts they identify on the board. Next, have students discuss how the sculpture was constructed. Ask, "What materials did the artist use? How do you think each piece was attached?" Beginner/Intermediate Tell students that they will work in small groups to construct a collage that combines different kinds of images. Allow them to choose from a variety of collage materials including paper, card stock, cardboard, wire, string, and a variety of images. Include cut-up images of architecture and buildings, but be sure not to include any sections that are easily recognizable. For example, you might include an image of columns, but not an entire building. Allow students to contribute one or two small drawings to the piece as well. You might also include images from popular culture or advertisements. Explain that students should work together to "construct" their collage and arrange their design. While working, ask them to consider what kinds of ideas their collage represents. How do the different parts and images relate to each other? Encourage them to alter, cut, or paint on top of their materials. Once the design is ready, students should discuss their construction with you before gluing it down. Ask students to explain how they worked together to combine their ideas and images. Intermediate Working in small groups, have students compare and contrast Rauch's Abstraktion (page 21) with Al-Hadid's Nolli's Orders. Have each group create a list or diagram that shows their findings. Ask them to consider how each piece may have been designed and planned before it was created. Have them compare and contrast the process each artist may have followed to create each piece. Advanced Ask students to identify what aspects of Rauch's and Al-Hadid's work connect to Renaissance or historical artwork. Have them write or draw their responses in a sketchbook or journal. Ask them to consider how the definition of "construction" applies to both Abstraktion and Nolli's Orders. Have them enter those responses in their journals as well. Next, ask them to identify the steps the artists may have used to create each work. What happened first? What was added last? Why do you think so? Advanced Have students design and construct a work of art that combines four or more disparate elements. These elements might include contemporary and historical styles of art, current and historical events, techniques, and media. Explain that they can choose more than one element from each category. They can also switch their choices during the creative process, if needed, as long as there are four identifiable elements in the final piece. For example, a student might create an artwork that references Mayan art and Hello Kitty while combining sculptural and painterly techniques. Provide students with plenty of time to work on this project and build in checkpoints to monitor and discuss progress throughout the project. Have students keep a "construction journal" to track their progress and record their thoughts during the process. They should pay close attention to the ideas, concepts, and emotions that may be associated with their design. When completed, have each student present his or her work to the class along with a written document explaining how their piece was constructed. Consider allowing students to present a video documenting their process as well. Have them turn in their construction journal along with the final piece as evidence of their artistic process. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications; and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. Resources Neo Rauch: davidzwirner.com/artists/neo-rauch Diana Al-Hadid: dianaalhadid.com 24 December 2013 SchoolArts