Students given three different colors of sticky notes: one color indicates they like the work, another indicates they dislike it, the third that is an example of the use of style. Everyone stands in a line with their backs to the artworks (prints of matisse's cut outs). Individually and anonymously the students tag the artworks appropriately and return to the line. When everyone has had a chance to mark the artworks the class may turn around. Students can then respond in writing or aloud to this experience, discussing the class preference and why they like or dislike the artwork.
Beliefs About Art:
Give each student an index card with an identity to assume during discussion. For Example:
- You believe that art should show ordinary things in new ways.
- You think that art has to be made out of traditional art materials (clay, paint, etc.)
- You believe that art is anything that you like.
- You think that all art should have a message or story about how to be a better person.
- You believe that art should always show or express feelings.
- You believe that artworks have to be unique -- different from other artworks.
- You believe that art should look like other things in the world (be realistic).
- You believe art should be something that people like to look at, it must "please the eye".
- You believe that art should make people think.
- You believe that art should take a long time to make and be very well made.
Each person will give their position about the significance and success of a selected Matisse cut-out piece based on their assigned view. Students should be careful to only voice the opinion of their identity, even if they don't agree with it.
Analyzing Philosophical Writings
In writing, discuss how Matisse's words connect to his cut-outs and the MatisseMASH-UP exhibit.
- "What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue."