I was excited to find a new inspiration piece for my second grade lesson on geometric shape when I came across the captivating work of French artist Auguste Herbin online. I was really surprised that I wasn't familiar with this artist, since I'm a big fan of nonobjective, colorful art. Many artists call this type of work "Art for art's sake," because it doesn't have to represent anything other than the interaction of elements like color, shape, and space. Adding to the excitement, as I read, I discovered that this artist used a SECRET CODE in his work - how cool is that? He called it the "Alphabet Plastique," meaning that the alphabet could "change" into shapes and colors, like a code. Here are two works using the Alphabet Plastique method, Rouge (red) and Oui (yes).
After learning a little about this artist, and comparing him to our last artist of inspiration, Joan Miro (also from Europe, used mostly organic shapes), we set to work on our codes. Usually we title our work last, but this time we came up with the title first - I love Krish's title "Little Sunday." Many of them were inspired by Herbin's simple titles including days of the week and colors.
Here we are, starting the collages - so exciting!
We noticed that Herbin stacked many of his shapes to show them off better and to help fill the space.
When our collages were complete, we quizzed a friend to see if they could figure out each other's code.
At the end, we critiqued ourselves and our classmates using the Art Stack - I just added this to my TpT store if you want to try it, and I am also putting the code handout on there. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Knights-Smartest-Artists
We had so much fun with all aspects of this lesson. Here are some things I may do differently next time:
1. Drawing/coloring the geometric shapes instead of collage. Sometimes it was hard to stay focused on the geometrics when cutting. Especially when there are so many interesting papers in the scrap box :).
2. Placing the code shapes on a separate strip or different color, and then the extra shapes around it. This way the title, in code, stands out from the background.
Definitely a keeper, and I can imagine many ways of experimenting with this!