The Visual Arts Exhibition: Is Contemporary Art Penalized?

Conceptual Qualities? I was recently in conversation with the DP Visual Arts Chief Examiner, Subject Manager and Principal Examiner for Exhibition SL. The Subject Manager was interested in particular in our interpretation of the 'Conceptual Qualities' Exhibition criterion. A teacher had suggested that students who focused on styles and formats of contemporary art in their final art exhibition may not do as well as students who worked in more traditional forms (e.g. painting and drawing); in effect the suggestion was that contemporary art ...

Six Comparative Study Questions from Students (with Answers)

I have received some questions about the Comparative Study from visual arts students. I can obviously answer them individually, but it might be more useful to others if I share the questions – and my answers – more publicly, in this blog… 1 What does function and purpose mean? Is it the purpose of the artist or the artwork? The focus of the Comparative Study is the ARTWORK. However, having said that, since the artist makes the artwork there will be overlaps, so ...

ART AND CONCEPT: What’s in a Glass of Water?

This post is about the visual arts course with reference to contemporary art, conceptual qualities, conceptual art and found objects ***The visual arts “Conceptual Qualities” criterion does not necessarily mean Conceptual Art, and Conceptual Art does not necessarily mean Found Objects. In the recent examination session a number of students went down a strongly ‘conceptual’ route and having chosen that route then went down the avenue marked ‘Found Objects’. CONCEPTUAL ART “Conceptual art can be – and can look like – almost anything. This ...

CONCEPTUAL QUALITIES (and experimentation, cliché, objet trouvé & the senses)

Conceptual art can be stimulating, provocative and even fun, so it’s no surprise that DP visual arts students occasionally upload files for their final assessment  that have an emphasis on idea and concept rather than, say, technical skill. They are often in the form of a found object – a feather, a glove, a light-bulb, a chess piece, rubbish, a clock, a computer circuit board, dead flowers - not forgetting, of course, Barbie (etc.) They all represent something and - given the ...

Modern Art is Rubbish

“MOST CONCEPT ART IS PRETENTIOUS, SELF-INDULGENT, CRAFTLESS TAT”   (The quote is not new, but was said by the then chairman of the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. http://www.artsjournal.com/visualarts/visualarts0102.shtml)   Does your teacher talk to you about contemporary and/or conceptual art? If so, what are the values and judgment he/she is passing on?   Of course, “contemporary art” is hugely diverse, and the label itself is broad and imprecise.   We could try to narrow it down - possible areas include ‘recent’ art (say, created since the year 2000), ...