Drawing Excess: Gesamtkunstwerk (DRW4403.01)

J Blackwell

The German term Gesamtkunstwerk roughly translates as a “total work of art” and refers to an artistic endeavor wherein various art forms are melded together to form a unified whole. Through the amalgamation of art, craft, music, and performance, Gesamtkunstwerk evokes a realm distinct from our everyday experience.

In this course, we will explore the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk by examining historical instances such as the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, the Vienna Secession, Andy Warhol’s Factory, Yayoi Kusama’s work, and Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum. Additionally, we will delve into the trend of auteurs and impresarios increasingly dictating artistic terms, which leaned towards authoritarianism before World War II and shifted towards marketing and branding thereafter.

Finally, we will engage in both individual and collaborative studio projects with the aim of creating our own Gesamtkunstwerk as the culminating project of the course. 



Learning Outcomes:
Developing the capacity for solitude and self-reflection via a rigorous studio practice
Augmenting problem-solving and problem-finding skills
Exercising and expanding imaginative thinking
Investigating complicated ideas through open-ended conversation

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Successful completion of one 2000-level painting or drawing course and one 4000-level painting or drawing course. To register: Please email jblackwell@bennington.edu starting Monday May 6, with GESAMTKUNSTWERK in the subject line. Submit a brief paragraph outlining your interest in the course, how it fits into your Plan of study, your current term, as well as other courses you intend to register for in VA next term. Alternatively, students may also provide this information by meeting with the instructor PRIOR to the beginning of registration on MAY 16. Students will be notified by email of their enrollment status. Email inquiries sent will not be considered if they do not contain all required information.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Drawing , Four Credit , Fully In-Person
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