“Forgery”: A Visual Research Practice for Students – An Art Exhibit

Thru April 25, 2016

Every year in her class Introduction to Oil Painting, Professor Deborah Howard assigns a final project called “Forgery,” in which the students create a painting in the style of a significant painter from the late 19th century forward. Using books, magazines, and exhibition catalogs from the library’s collection, the students research the artists’ painting portfolios and then select one artwork to focus their visual analysis – examining the subject matter, composition, color, shapes, brush work, materials and technique. Working from these observations and interpretations, the students then choose their own subject and create a new and original painting.studentart_one

Interpretation of an artwork from another artist is no simple task, thus, Professor Howard offers questions for the students to consider during the visual research process:

  • How does the artist interpret, transform, change, abstract or distort their subjects?
  • How do they use color?
  • How do they apply paint?
  • Why do they choose their subjects?
  • What is the meaning or symbolism?

studentart_threeThe students are not painting a true forgery, but instead, through careful analysis of the artworks, they create their own painting using the characteristics and techniques learned and understood through close examination.

This exhibit showcases several of these student artworks from Prof. Howard’s courses over the last two years. Accompanying each painting is information about the student, the master painter and specific artwork selected, and a reflective artist statement written by the student.

The students come from a variety of backgrounds and many are not art majors, but business, social sciences, and sciences; contexts that seem to penetrate their artistic choices and invigorate their final paintings.studentart_two

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