by Brenda Ellis
This book explores ideas that help students understand why modern art looks so different from earlier works and guides them to create meaningful art from their own experiences and ideas. Focus is given to those artworks and movements that had great influence on our culture. The artists featured give positive and creative messages in their art making this a tasteful introduction to modern art that is perfect for young students.
This book is a continuation of the art history section of Artistic Pursuits Early Elementary K-3, Book Two, Stories of Artists and Their Art, and it can be used independently. Parents simply read the text, while engaging their child in the discussion questions provided beside the Master works by Degas, Monet, and others. Children use traditional methods for creating sculptures: modeling, carving, and construction, as well as modern techniques: assemblages and land art. Tasteful works are introduced in discussions of movements like Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, and Expressionism. Rather than mimicking images, a practice with little content, children learn about the ideas that caused modern art to thrive and make pictures that explore those ideas as they relate to the child. The author includes a helpful section for parents explaining the larger context of modernism so that parents are enabled to judge modern art for themselves and can guide their children through the maze of modern images and motives. This book provides lessons for the completion of twenty-four finished two-dimensional works on paper and twelve three-dimensional sculptures that are original and wholly the child’s own.