Special Topics in Art and Culture
Size Matters: Questions of Scale in Recent Sculpture
This course examines the matter of scale, one of the issues most central to the making and reception of art. Despite its significance, scale has been remarkably neglected as a standalone topic, often mistaken as size. A notable exception, however, is the considerably body of commentary dealing with sculpture, and particularly that which emerged in the wake of Minimalism's ascent in the 1960s. Co-taught by a sculptor and an art historian, this course examines scale through the lens of sculpture from approximately the early 1960s to the present. Works from a variety of cultural backgrounds will be discussed, including those of Robert Smithson, Claes Oldenburg, Cildo Meireles, Yayoi Kusama, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, the Mono-ha, John McCracken, Danh Vo, Jennifer Pastor, and Suh Do-Ho. This course will be especially useful for studio artists seeking to understand the relationship of artistic practice to a broader historical framework and for art historians interested in issues concerning the reception of living artists, including the analysis of artists' writings and interviews. Together, art historians and artists/designers will explore ways in which issues of scale are approached and resolved in the process of artmaking, as well as consider how these decisions impact the perception, experience, and understanding of the work once made. A highlight of this course is a planned field trip to Marfa, Texas to visit Judd's Chinati Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, and Prada Marfa (co-pay required). All readings in English; for art history students, no prior studio art experience required.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $50. C. D. 4