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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Video Clips

Expressionism: Landscape



Patrick Adams begins this segment discussing his memories of growing up “in the middle of a cornfield in Minnesota” and how that landscape’s geography has influenced most of his work. He likes to challenge the differences between the geography of his home and that of Kentucky, finding the wide-open spaces in his memory more appealing than the tightly woven hills. Karen Spears goes on to discuss her youth spent in Texas and the influence of different environments on the vistas found in her work. Adams then describes the methods he uses to look at the reality of a landscape more internally, finding the abstract nature in real forms. Finally, Guinever Smith continues the discussion of the relationship between abstraction and realism, finding it best displayed in the shifting elements of nature, such as dark rain clouds and the currents of change expressed in the colors of autumn. She says that she hopes to create work “on the knife’s edge between realism and abstraction ... that expresses those moments when permanent things are just about to change.”

Suggested Uses:

  • Use to spark a discussion about artists’ methods and intentions as well as the creative process in general. Have students create art based on the video and your discussion.
  • Use the segment in conjunction with a discussion of the purposes of art (e.g., the artists’ intentions in painting expressionist landscapes).
  • Compare and contrast the techniques and methods different artists use in their approach to the same medium, using painter profiles from Spectrum of Art and Through Artists’ Eyes.
  • Show in conjunction with the “Realism: Landscape” segment featuring artists Dal Macon and Laurin Notheisen to compare and contrast expressionism and realism.
  • Use as part of a “careers in the arts” unit or as an introductory activity before an artist-in-residence visits your classroom.

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