1. Henry Moore, STUDY FOR THE TUBE SHELTER PERSPECTIVE: THE LIVERPOOL STREET EXTENSION, 1940–41. Pencil, wax crayon, colored crayon, watercolor, wash, pen and ink, Conté crayon on wove paper. 8″ x 6 1⁄2″.
The British government commissioned Henry Moore in 1940 to make drawings of the effects of war on his homeland. Do we still need official war artists in the days of smartphone photos? Why or why not?
2. in the past, young artists would study with a master artist to learn from him. They would copy his art in an attempt to gain his skill and wisdom and he was right there guiding them. Art historians are often able to identify these copies, but not always. As a result, there’s sometimes the risk that a collector will purchase an art piece attributed to a master when it was, in fact, his student’s work.
Why does it matter so much when someone copies an artist’s work? What is the worth of a good forgery? If experts can’t tell the difference between a da Vinci and a fake, why should we care? What is the true value of the original art piece? Is it because we want to touch or see the art piece that a great artist created? Is there something near magical about being close to an art piece shaped by a great artist? Is it about experiencing the magic? Is it all about the prestige of owning a work from a great master or is there more to it? How do you feel about these issues?
Manuel Álvarez Bravo captured hundreds of jarring scenes in photos that he shot in his native Mexico, showing strange juxtapositions and unusual events. If you were to try to imitate Álvarez Bravo’s style, what would you photograph today? Are such strange scenes as easy to find these days?
The basic premise of the pictograms in the Olympukes series is that the athletic competitions of the Olympics are overcome by advertising, not only television commercials, but also sponsorships and logo placements. Does this seem true to you? Are we really drowning in advertising?
The Greeks regarded art as a way to glimpse the ideal, as this sculpture shows. Where do we get our visions of the ideal today? From art, or some other realm?
Michelangelo Buonarroti, DAVID, 1501–4. Marble. Height of figure 14’3″.
This statue represents a hero, and it was created for a public space. Suppose an artist today created a statue of a nude hero and set it up in a town square. Who should be depicted? What would the response be?
Muslims show respect for the word of God by copying it beautifully or by owning such a beautiful book. Do people of other religious faiths have similar traditions? How do they show such respect?
Nadar (Félix Tournachon), SARAH BERNHARDT, 1855. Photograph.
This is a photo of a celebrity of the day, an actress. Besides its grayscale colors, is it different from such celebrity photos that we see today? How?
This work gently satirizes rural farm people from the artist’s native state of Iowa. Can this satire still make sense in today’s United States, given the technological and demographic changes that have taken place since 1930? Is it equally valid today?
James Rosenquist, F-111, 1965. Oil on canvas with aluminum. Four parts. 10′ x 86′.
James Rosenquist in F-111 depicted imagery from the culture of the 1960s. Using the criteria for Pop Art that Richard Hamilton developed, what might a Pop artist today depict in a similarly large, mural-sized painting?
Banksy, STONE AGE WAITER, 2006. Los Angeles. Spray paint and stencils. Height 5’6″.
Is Banksy’s Stone Age Waiter a work of art or an example of vandalism? If it is an artwork, does that mean that graffiti in general is also a type of art? How might you separate art from vandalism? If this work is vandalism, does the fact that it was created with permission influence your judgment?