Abstract Expressionism and Imaginative Curriculum‪.‬

Journal of Curriculum Theorizing 2005, Fall, 21, 3

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Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 50s created a revolution in the visual art world through an exploration of the subconscious, new creative approaches to painting, and a reliance on spontaneity-the very things that can breathe life into contemporary education. Abstract Expressionism is defined as a twentieth-century painting style in which artists applied paint freely to their huge canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions (Mittler, G. 1994, p. 586). However, there is much more to Abstract Expressionism and its effect on art than this pithy description can possibly address. Specifically, drawing from the subconscious, the process the emotional and physical act of painting for the first time in the history of western art became the subject of art. This emphasis on the course was characterized through a reliance on spontaneity, the happy accident, or chance, a release of creativity, and a capturing of the unconscious in order to produce for the first time a purely abstract or nonobjective image. These are the elements and principles I will argue that teachers are in desperate short supply of as they must reawaken to the act of pedagogy an art form that has been lost in the latest educational trends. We work from within (Pinar, W. 1994, p. 10). This statement in William Pinar's 1972 article entitled "Working from Within" and published in Educational Leadership gets to the heart of Abstract Expressionism and what education today is lacking. It also serves as my inspiration to explore this topic further and in greater detail. William Pinar speaks directly to the problems of the educational environment dominated by accountability, standards, and high stakes testing all determined to destroy any sense of humanity left within education. I say, what is called for in light of the present state of public education is a change in course, and I will argue Abstract Expressionism provides a template for the promise of education as yet unrealized. As Dennis Sumara suggests that it is the rupture-the break-that provides the interruption in our usual patterns of living forcing us to learn to live and perceive differently (Sumara, D. 1996, p. 156).

Professional & Technical
September 22
Caddo Gap Press
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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