Old School: The Case for Specialism in Art Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Abstract

Working in one specialism or another is what defines many artists’ practice. Think of Ad Reinhardt’s solitary monk-like devotion to painting near black square canvases, Bernd and Hilla Becher’s 40-year career photographing industrial architecture, or Gerhard Richter’s ‘daily practice of painting’. Single-minded allegiance to a mode of making and subject matter is seen as a sign of artistic integrity and seriousness of purpose. Auction houses and galleries often refer to the distinctiveness of an artists’ work as a ‘signature’. Inevitably a ‘signature’ work will be the most highly valued. Yet within art education to define a Fine Art course by a media specialism – painting, or photography, or printmaking, or sculpture, and so on – is now seen as antiquated, irrelevant, and restrictive. This essay explores how specialisms came to be viewed negatively within art education and argues that there is still be a place for them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpecialism
EditorsD. Blamey
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherOpen Editions
Pages21-35
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780949004017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Art education

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  • Profiles

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    Matthew Cornford

    Person: Academic

    Activities

    • 4 Invited talk

    The Art Schools of North West England and Beyond

    Matthew Cornford (Invited presenter) & John Beck (Presenter)

    13 Jun 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    The Idea of Art School

    Matthew Cornford (Presenter) & John Beck (Presenter)

    27 Jun 2018

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    The Art School and the Culture Shed

    Matthew Cornford (Presenter)

    12 Oct 2017

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

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