Sculpture Curriculum

Curriculum

YEAR ONE | Fall Semester

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S 501 | Sculpture I: Perceptual Modeling I Intensive

This course addresses the challenge of sculpting the human figure from observation, in combination with a systematic study of the largely invisible underlying structure of the figure. Initial instruction promotes analytical seeing and interpretation. Exploration of linear and volumetric systems of proportion supports architectonic organization in the realization of the figure through the process of modeling. As the semester progresses, students pursue independent work that combines the substance of the studio instruction with their form sensibility and ideas.

3 Credits

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A 505 | Artistic Anatomy: Ecorche Intensive A

This intensive course is primarily designed for sculpture students who are required to study Ecorche. It is also open to second year students as an elective course. The course is presented sequentially over the fall and spring semesters of the first academic year. The content of the course will begin with the development of a proportionally accurate, highly detailed representation of the complete skeleton at 36 inches. During the remainder of the fall semester muscular structures and their groupings will be modeled, in sequence, from the most inferior to the more superior. Both the fall and spring semesters will include three-hour weekly detailed lectures and hands on instruction. The spring semester will continue with the further development of the most superior muscular structures, their groupings, description of kinesthetic function and it’s effect upon surface form. During the spring semester, concurrent with the final development of the structural representations presented by the Ecorche; a perceptually developed sculpture, at 36 inches, from the live model, in the same pose as the Ecorche, will be completed. This will allow the student to understand the effect of the empirically studied structure of the body, and its applications to perceived surface tension and its transference into sculptural form.

3 Credits

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A501 | Figure Drawing I Intensive

This course begins the process of developing the student’s ability to represent the human figure in pictorial space, clearly situated on a perspective ground plane. Emphasis is placed on gaining an in-depth understanding of the body’s underlying geometry and anatomical structure. A conceptual model of the figure is developed by correlating drawing from the live model with the study of Old Master drawings and diagrams that present the body as a series of interlocking volumes governed by hierarchical principles. Each session emphasizes a different body part or connective joint. Students learn about the characteristic contours of muscles and how body parts move in relation to one another and to the picture plane.

 

3 Credits

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H501 | Art & Culture I: 1860-1960 The Birth of Modernism and Its Aftermath

Students will study the theory that surrounds critical movements of early Modernism through Minimalism and conceptual art of the 1960’s. The role of representation, figuration, and abstraction within the attendant cultural arena will allow students a broad base for understanding the relationship of recent history to contemporary concerns in art.

 

3 Credits

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H503 | History and Theory of Composition I

This course investigates historical modalities and methods of compositional construction in Western figurative art from Classicism to early Modernism. The essential topics covered are: forms of spatial construction and illusion, the relationship of content to image, and the relationship of image construction to form and compositional content in various social and historical contexts. The aim is to give students an understanding of the possibilities and strategies of compositional realization, and instruction in the application of these strategies to their own ideas through studio work and class assignments.

3 Credits

YEAR ONE | Spring Semester

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S502 | Sculpture II: Perceptual Modelling II

This course is designed to give the student the theoretical and formal basis for subsequent independent work on a large scale. It continues the process of developing the student’s perceptual abilities through direct observation of the model, and expands upon the structural material introduced in Sculpture I. During this course, students produce two figures of medium to large scale. Anatomical analysis will support the abstract content of sculptural mass and composition.

3 Credits

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A506 | Artistic Anatomy: Ecorche Intensive B

This intensive course is primarily designed for sculpture students who are required to study Ecorche. It is also open to second year students as an elective course. The course is presented sequentially over the fall and spring semesters of the first academic year. The content of the course will begin with the development of a proportionally accurate, highly detailed representation of the complete skeleton at 36 inches. During the remainder of the fall semester muscular structures and their groupings will be modeled, in sequence, from the most inferior to the more superior. Both the fall and spring semesters will include three-hour weekly detailed lectures and hands on instruction. The spring semester will continue with the further development of the most superior muscular structures, their groupings, description of kinesthetic function and it’s effect upon surface form. During the spring semester, concurrent with the final development of the structural representations presented by the Ecorche; a perceptually developed sculpture, at 36 inches, from the live model, in the same pose as the Ecorche, will be completed. This will allow the student to understand the effect of the empirically studied structure of the body, and its applications to perceived surface tension and its transference into sculptural form.

3 Credits

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H505 | History of Sculpture Composition & Technique

This course employs lectures, reading and the rigorous discipline of classroom exercises to investigate several key figures in the history of Western sculpture, focusing on the relationship between technique and broader cultural issues in the associated period. Following Rudolph Wittkower’s seminal thesis entitled Sculpture: Processes and Principles, class lectures will retrace different trajectories of carved and modeled figure sculpture up to the threshold of Modernism, studying the connection between methods of execution and evolving concept of form. The studio component of the course emphasizes the emergence of the clay sketch model, or maquette, as a tool for expanding the formal and iconographic vocabulary of monumental sculpture. The evolution of technique is further studied through a sequence of studio exercises in which models are posed for reference while students emulate the characteristic methodology of a specific artist or historical periods in the realization of a new sculptural composition. Collectively, the exercises promote a comparative historical analysis that elucidates the changing metaphoric content of technique itself, and provides a theoretic foundation for the student’s personal segue into contemporary practice.

3 Credits

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A502 | Artistic Anatomy II: Anatomical Drawing

The goal of this course is to improve the student’s powers of observation by providing a basic understanding of the human body’s underlying structures and to delineate strategies for representing those forms two-dimensionally. Emphasis is placed on anatomy (skeletal structure, muscular origins and insertions, and surface forms) and proportion. Ample time is given to students to work directly from the model. Focus is also placed upon the variety of the human form as represented by artists both historical and contemporary.

3 Credits

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Elective

Elective

3 Credits

In the second semester, students select one elective course based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select an elective outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.

YEAR TWO | Fall Semester

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S603 | Sculpture III

The composition of figure groups in relief and in the round is addressed in this course through classroom setups employing multiple models. The relationship between form and idea is discussed in connection with narrative, allegory, social critique and other approaches to subject matter. The analytical skills developed in Sculpture I and II are further applied to the conceptual knowledge of the figure gained from the anatomy sequence. This course provides a critical forum for addressing the various problems faced by sculpture students in the early stages of the MFA Thesis.

 

3 Credits

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H602 | Art & Culture II: 1960 to the present

Seminar II addresses critical theory, modernist paradigms and the contemporary environment. A research paper that will be developed and graded as a component of the MFA Thesis II course is required. The paper should make a convincing argument for the MFA Thesis by citing relevant sources in philosophy, culture and artworks, and stand as a verbal study of an argument for the MFA Thesis. Individual reasoning, analysis and perceptions should inform this endeavor as they do the visual work.

3 Credits

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I601 | MFA Thesis I

In the first semester of the MFA Thesis, the emphasis is placed on developing individual direction through the exploration of ideas resulting in the execution of artwork. These ideas may first be outlined in maquettes, studies and compositional plans that clarify, refine and consolidate the developing work. Photographs and other material not hand-crafted by the artist may serve as valuable references but do not qualify as gradable material in this context. The MFA Thesis I works are presented in-progress during the mid-semester critique and should show significant development as coherent artworks for the end-of-semester critique.

3 Credits

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Electives

Elective One: 3 Credits

Elective Two: 3 Credits

In the third semester, students select two elective courses based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select electives outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.

YEAR TWO | Spring Semester

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S604 | Sculpture IV

This course allows great latitude for self-directed work, while also requiring the student to demonstrate an assimilation of the content of the previous sculpture sequence. At the outset of the term, the student will be asked to present a written proposal for a single project that will occupy the entire semester. Instruction will be specific to each proposal and adjusted to the needs of the individual student. Every five weeks, the instructor will discuss the work in a group critique that includes student peer review.

3 Credits

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I602 | MFA Thesis II

In this course, students continue building on the body of work and themes addressed in MFA Thesis I. In addition to completing paintings, drawings or sculpture over the semester, students are required to refine their research paper that began in the fall semester in Art and Culture II. (See paper description above.)

6 Credits

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Electives

Elective One: 3 Credits

Elective Two: 3 Credits

In the third semester, students select two elective courses based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select electives outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.