Monday, June 21, 2010

Louise Nevelson Assemblage

One of my favorite artists is Louise Nevelson, so I decided to try a lesson using recycled materials to create Nevelson inspired assemblages. We talked about the artist's use of discarded materials and giving them a new life. Our pieces started with a 12x12 inch piece of corrugated cardboard as a base. We then took paper egg cartons, cardboard paper tubes, popsicle sticks, and extra pieces of corrugated cardboard to create our forms. I suggested repetition of elements, variation of texture, and utilizing as much of the space as possible. We generously glued our pieces onto the supporting structure. When dry, each student chose a single acrylic color to paint their pieces, trying to cover all of the viewable areas. Although the materials used for construction were practically free, these did require a lot of paint to get good coverage. So worth it though!


Janis said...

Really nice. I'm preparing to do a lesson with my middle school students so I'm busy checking out all the art blogs for ideas.
Question, did the corrugated cardboard base warp at all for you from the weight of the paint?

Renée Collins said...

Hi Janis: No warping. We dd use acrylic paint from a tube, which cuts down on the moisture, which I think would be more of an issue than the weight of the paint. When in doubt, just glue a couple of pieces together and paint it up to see what happens! You could also choose to gesso the pieces before painting.

Unknown said...

This is great, thank you for sharing. I am doing a similar project with card relief based on Shophouses in Singapore but I want to bring in more recycled and discarded textures too so we have looked at Nevelson's work. Are you on Twitter? Would be great to connect. Nicki

Shelley Menhennet said...

I have made Louise Nevelson assemblages with my grade 4 students this year and they loved it. I have saved them up for the art show so they haven't been on display yet but they did cause lots of discussion when they were drying on newspaper out in the back hallway and i only left a narrow path to walk through the middle of them! It's a bit problematic when you have to dry and store 180 assemblage pieces to be worked on the next week!!!!! Sometimes I wonder if I really thought deeply about some of the crazy ideas I have I just wouldn't do them at all! Each grade selected one colour to paint their assemblages with the aim being that they will be displayed together as a large assemblage and then each child will take their own piece home. There is no way I will be able to attach them all to the temporary display boards I have to use in our old gym, where our art show is, so I am going to layout black paper I have on a huge roll and "mount them on the floor - I hope they still look impressive!
I love blogging as blogs like yours prove that I am not the only crazy art teacher ou there!