Teaching Students About Expressionism
Expressionism emerged in the early 20th century as an artistic movement that sought to convey raw emotion and subjectivity through its unique visual language. The movement involved various art forms, including painting, literature, drama, music, and film. This article will delve into the importance of teaching students about Expressionism and offer valuable tips on how to approach this fascinating topic in the classroom.
Why Teach Expressionism?
Enhances Emotional Intelligence: Learning about expressionist artwork helps students develop a deeper understanding of human emotions, which can contribute to better emotional intelligence and empathy.
Develops Critical Thinking Skills: Studying the various components of expressionism prompts students to question traditional norms and methods in art. Analyzing these works allows students to form their opinions and sharpen their critical thinking skills
Appeals to Different Learning Styles: Expressionism offers a wide range of artistic styles within its broader umbrella, making it suitable for engaging students with varying interests in creative fields.
Approaching Expressionism in Classroom Teaching
Start with a Historical Context: Provide a brief history of expressionism and how it emerged as a response to materialism, technological advancements, and societal unrest during the early 20th century.
Introduce Key Artists: Familiarize students with major artists within the movement such as Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Egon Schiele, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Delve into their individual styles and contributions to expressionist art.
Explore Various Art Forms: Encourage students to understand that expressionism involved multiple disciplines (painting, literature, drama, music) and showcase examples from each area to give them a comprehensive understanding of the movement’s scope.
Study Techniques and Themes: Discuss the common themes explored by expressionist artists such as bold colors, distorted forms, abstraction, and emotional intensity. Teach students about the artistic techniques used to convey these themes—such as loose and energetic brushstrokes, exaggeration, and fragmentation.
Encourage Hands-On Experience: Provide opportunities for students to create their expressionist-style artworks by experimenting with different materials, colors, and techniques. Allow them to express their thoughts and emotions through art.
Analyze and Interpret Artworks: Aid students in analyzing and interpreting expressionist works by discussing the artist’s choice of elements such as color, form, and composition. Encourage them to voice their responses and opinions on the artworks.
Connect Expressionism with Contemporary Culture: Illustrate how elements of expressionism still influence modern art, music, and film by drawing connections between the movement and current cultural trends.