Science: Collections and Categories
Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered
Wooden box containing glass vials with seeds, fungi, and invertebrates
Dion’s work is often a carefully curated display of objects that tell a story. This artwork, for example, is a box full of different objects that the artist found on a walk. The objects themselves tell specific stories, but through his presentation they take on a whole new, critical narrative. What objects do you see here? What stories might they tell as individual objects and as a whole group?
Treasure Cabinet (Duo bao ge)
Cabinets like this one were popular in China from the 1500-1900s to show off someone’s collection of treasures. The objects were placed in arrangements to create visual interest and spark conversation. What might these objects say about the person who owned them? If you could rearrange them in the cabinet, what artworks would you put together?
Bruce Hixon Smith
Palladium Albeit Anachronistic
oil on canvas
Smith begins his works by creating contoured lines drawn on top of one another. None of the original lines are erased, which gives the work a feeling of movement. He also uses a combination of symbols that can be either obvious or obscure, hoping to encourage viewers to go deeper into the layers of meaning. This piece, along with most of Smith’s works, is ultimately about art and its changeableness.
Raymond Vincent Jonas
Though his art does not reflect the style of Pablo Picasso, Jonas was greatly influenced by that artist. He began creating wood sculpture after learning to create wooden furniture. This piece is meant to demonstrate the beauty of abstract form, which is achieved through the right combinations of materials, proportions and shapes. He used sycamore for Abstract Configuration as it allowed for a larger size of sculpture. Once each element was attached the piece turned out to be larger than the original tree.
- Collecting and categorizing is when you collect or group things or people together that share certain characteristics.
- What different items have been collected in each of these artworks? What science categories do each of these collections belong to?
- Look around your classroom or house, what things can you find to collect? Working on your own or in a group, gather items to make a new collection. Write or draw in your journal about your collection.