children and their art - fourth edition.
. . .art’s reputation must be due to the fact that it helps people to understand the world and themselves, and presents to their eyes what they have understood and believe to be true.”
“. . .art is an expression of a person’s reactions to experiences in his or her life, given form through the use of design and materials.”
“many innovations or movements in the modern era of art history began in revolutions against accepted artistic tradition or, in many instances, academic dogma.”
“the current scene in art is not dominated by a single style or movement, but exemplifies a pluralism that includes contemporary manifestations of nearly all that has gone before.”
“there is a time for children to focus on their attention on the external world and there is a time to honor their own dreams and inner desires; there should be opportunities to experiment with form; and there should be situations wherein the modes of one medium can borrow from another.”
“since art is very personal, creative people must control the activities that engage them. to be in control of their work, artists must have freedom to choose both their subject matter and their manner of expression.”
“the freedom necessary for the success of an aesthetic act cannot be separated from the freedom of thought and action that is the prerogative of the individual living in a democracy. a fact generally overlooked is that art educators have been among the pioneers in developing a pedagogy compatible with democratic practices. what assisted them as much as anything else was their understanding that art could not be taught successfully unless it was presented in an atmosphere designed to develop individual and, in a sense, nonconformist expression.”
“art does not lend itself readily to rules and regulations, and any statement concerning principles must be outlined with caution.”
“should learners come to rely on the principles they have developed from their experiences to such an extent that they cease to look for new, deeper truths in art, their thinking will become stale. whatever universal beliefs we may hold about art must, it seems, be subject to continued revision and further inquiry. general truths about art, in short, must always be regarded in a pragmatic light. a principle may not be adequate when we have enjoyed new experiences and gained new insights into design.
the current attitude toward honesty in the use of materials reflects this idea. if we are still to hold to the idea that artists must respect the integrity of their materials and work from the accepted definitions of painting and sculpture, what are we to say of george sugarman, who paints his sculpture, or of marisol, who adds drawing to the same combination? should we adhere to the “rules” and reject their work, or should we keep ourselves open to the element of surprise and amusement when confronted with such combinations? obviously, today’s children should be prepared for the art of their time, and there is no reason why there cannot be room in their life for both the “integrity” of a fresco by michelangelo and the multimedia combines of robert rauschenberg. (we must bear in mind that in the opinion of many of his contemporaries, michelangelo violated the integrity of the human figure by distorting human proportions.)
each learner arrives at a personal statement of principles that reflects personal experience and its resulting insights. . .
. . .no matter what principles one may formulate, however, they should be employed only as temporary working hypotheses.”