Of Heaven and Earth: Chiaroscuro Creations

Chiaroscuro paintings often have strong contrasts of light and dark. This style of painting was made popular during the Renaissance and often featured a portrait of its subject. In the Of Heaven and Earth exhibition, the painting Salome (ca. 1681–85) by Carlo Dolci (pictured left) is one such example. Give students a chance to create their… Read on

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Of Heaven and Earth: Enter the Painting

Select a painting of interest from the Of Heaven and Earth exhibition, and spend at least sixty seconds in silence examining the details. Ask students to “take a walk” into the painting using their five senses. Consider the following prompts to assist in your discussion: What do they see, feel, hear, smell, taste? Describe your… Read on

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Additional Resources

Teaching Materials Abstract Painting Demonstration Video Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction  Meet the Cyborg Teaching Musicians How to Play Color, Not Sheet Music  Books Concerning the Spiritual in Art– Wassily Kandinsky The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse– Eric Carle The Blue Rider: The Yellow Cow Sees the World in Blue- Doris Kutschbach The Noisy Paint… Read on

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A Positive Influence

Discussion– Throughout his career, Kandinsky experimented with different processes and materials. While in Murnau, Germany, he painted on glass, an interest his friends Gabriele Münter, Marianne Werefkin, and Alexei Jawlensky also shared. Kandinsky, together with Franz Marc, founded the Blue Rider group specifically so that he and like-minded artists could share and exchange ideas around… Read on

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Observation

Discussion– Line, shape, and color are important building blocks for creating art. Select a painting by Kandinsky to discuss as a group. Activity– Look closely at the image for one minute. Notice the lines. What are they doing? Notice the shapes. Look for two kinds: geometric and biomorphic (or organic). Do you see shapes that… Read on

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In Between the Lines

Activity Artists use lines to express movement, texture, and space. Step into the Juryfreie Murals room and identify the many ways lines are used. For instance, repeated lines create a sense of movement. Overlapping lines help suggest texture, while the weight and proximity of lines, such as having thick bold lines in the foreground and… Read on

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The Museum Abstracted

Activity– As Kandinsky’s career progressed, his paintings became increasingly more abstract and included veiled symbols. Select an area of the Milwaukee Art Museum campus to sketch in an abstract format, and integrate symbols into the image. Share your drawings.

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Mix It Up

Discussion– Kandinsky was an instructor at the Bauhaus, whose teaching program emphasized experimentation, form theory, and the direct handling of materials. He was best known for his instruction of color theory. In the visual arts, color theory organizes the colors in the spectrum and their relationships. Colors are categorized on the color wheel into primary… Read on

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Biography

The career of Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), a pioneer of modern art and theory, is a remarkable one. Trained as a lawyer in his native Russia, Kandinsky left behind a legal career and moved to the forefront of the European avant-garde in Munich and Paris. During a time of incredible scientific, industrial, and intellectual change, with… Read on

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My Dogs Are Barking

The animals in the Uncommon Folk exhibition range from wild to domestic, prehistoric to contemporary, whimsical to sober, and miniature to life-size. Each sculpture effectively captures the essence of the animal. View and discuss the animal sculptures with regard to their characteristics and potential symbolism.             Directions: A mascot is… Read on

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