Art 2 and Art History students took a trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on January 29 for guided tours of several exhibits.
Art 2 students, made up of sophomores and juniors, toured a visiting exhibit of works by Robert Rauschenberg. Some of the pieces they examined and discussed were "Monogram," an example of the Combine style for which he is known, which features a taxidermied goat with a tire around its middle; "Mud Muse," a big, burbling vat of mud; and "Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)], a large, three-panel collage of photographs from his neighborhood and places around the world.
At one stop, a student was blindfolded and placed with her back toward a painting while her classmates described it to her. When she removed the blindfold, she compared what she had pictured with the actual painting. (It was pretty close!) The exercise helped students learn how to describe works of art and encouraged them to notice elements they may have otherwise overlooked.
Meanwhile, the senior Art History class engaged in a series of activities and discussions around highlights of SFMOMA's holdings in the Bay Area Figurative Movement (Joan Brown), Pop art (Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol), photorealism (Chuck Close), minimalism (Richard Serra), and a work by Richard Artschwager that might be classified as conceptual art but really straddles a few movements. They concluded with a discussion of a visiting exhibition of imposing spider sculptures, "Louise Bourgeois Spiders."
For art teacher Michelle Avery, the field trip was a chance to expose her students to a range of artistic possibilities. "Art can be messy," she said.