SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Looking & Learning Creating Pull-out Resource Creating is the act of bringing something into the world, whether it is a sculpture, performance, drawing, painting, poem, story, or craft. A rtists and art educators spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing creativity and how it works. While everyone is capable of creating something, not everything that we make is creative. For example, you can create a painting or a craft by following step-by-step instructions that end with a pre-determined product. Artists are mostly interested in the kind of creating that brings new and imaginative things into the world—things that might not otherwise exist. The unique and imaginative works of Odilon Redon and Allison Schulnik are examples great examples of art that approaches materials and subject matter in innovative ways. Allison Schulnik, Cat Head, 2011. Oil on linen, 24 x 24" (61 x 61 cm). Private collection, image courtesy of ZieherSmith, NY and the artist. About the Artists/Artworks Odilon redon (1840–1960), Spring Odilon Redon was strongly influenced by Romantic literature. His early works from the late 1800s were predominantly dark visions of composite creatures and haunting dreams found in Romantic poetry and novels. He even dedicated one portfolio of prints to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. After 1890, however—embracing bright color and influenced by the post-impressionists—he abandoned printmaking as his chief art form in favor of painting, and produced beautiful and lyrical, yet haunting works that embodied subjects ranging from antiquity to Christianity to allegorical subjects such as Spring. In his painted work, as in his printmaking, he created an extremely personal vision that had a profound impact on modern artists in the early 1900s and continues to influence artists working today. Allison Schulnik (b. 1978), Cat Head Allison Schulnik earned her BFA degree in experimental animation, but her work spans the fields of animation, painting, and performance. Her imagery is reminiscent of the horrific yet beautifully painted visions of James Ensor, Frank Auerbach, and Francisco de Goya. Her alternate realities combine subjects from the circus, cemeteries, and medieval Dance of Death figures. While Schulnik's evil clowns, hobos, and skeletal figures literally drip paint, the content of her paintings are not as compelling as the surfaces themselves. Schulnik's morphing subjects occupy a curious realm between three-dimensional and two-dimensional art, and in the end, her work is a tour-de-force in celebrating the medium rather than the subject matter. Schulnik's animations are a brilliant documentation of the artistic process in action, as her sculpted figures transform wildly, layering colors and materials in a sequence that exemplifies the act of creating. schoolartsonline.com 23

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