The following units are all based upon a method of focus and discovery. The emphasis is upon viewing and listening with an "internal goal," such as becoming familiar with a work that is not only well known, but that also has qualities which make it interesting and worthy of study. It has things "to study about." These can all be classified as adventures of the mind.
Jose Clemente Orozco, Zapatistas
Focus: Orozcoand Diego Rivera were Mexico's leading painters of the twentieth century. Both were known for their large murals which frequently depicted social issues. A sense of rhythm is very evident in Zapatistas.
Discovery: A part of Emil Zapata's army of peasants pass in review. The rhythm is the most exciting element in the work. The repeated lines of the men on foot and those on horseback emphasize that rhythm. The strong feeling of marching is obtained by overlapping planes that tilt forward, as if a bit downhill. Contrast of light and shade adds to the dramatic effect.
Additional Study Suggestions: Find examples of murals by Rivera. Do murals of this kind all have some social message or theme? Are there presently any living artists in the United States who are known for painting public murals?
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Publication information: Book title: The Arts and Critical Thinking in American Education. Contributors: Ivan Olson - Editor, Ralph A. Smith - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 97.
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