Activities
Abstraction

a. In The Seasons, 1957, Lee Krasner used abstract organic and plant forms to represent the cycles of nature. For Hudson River Landscape, 1951, David Smith welded pieces of found steel together, often maintaining their original shape and using their abstract forms to represent parts of the landscape, mountains, or train tracks along the river. Ask your students to look closely at these works. Can students identify shapes that might represent elements of nature or landscape?

b. Ask your students to think of a journey that they often make, such as to school, or to their home. Ask students to draw four different things they remember from that journey. Have them include both natural and manmade forms. Have students use simple outlines and shapes from their sketches and combine them into one drawing. Display and review students’ drawings. How did they combine their shapes?

 

 

David Smith (1906–1965), _Hudson River Landscape_, 1951. Welded painted steel and stainless steel, 48 3/4 × 72 1/8 × 17 5/16 in. (123.8 × 183.2 × 44 cm). Unique. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 54.14 Art (c) Estate of David Smith/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Lee Krasner (1908-1984), The Seasons, 1957. Oil and house paint on canvas, 92 3/4 × 203 7/8 in. (235.6 × 517.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Frances and Sydney Lewis by exchange, the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee 87.7 © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society(ARS), New York