Visible Language: Word And/As Image (DRW4401.01)

Mary Lum

The observed world is covered with words, both visible and invisible. This advanced drawing course aims to underline the tensions and comforts of the relationship between words and images in visual art. Through assigned drawing problems that call upon students to complete and present visual work regularly, topics will include, sign and structure, asemic writing, typography, concrete poetry, found language, illustration, and sequential imagery. The historical contexts of visible language will be presented, with special attention to the use of words in contemporary art. To succeed in this course students should be curious, willing, and open to chance, change, abstraction, and difference. Students are expected to be able to think abstractly, and to consider reading, writing, and drawing important parts of their daily life. Class structure includes in class work, out of class assignments, independent work, readings, discussions and critiques. A high level of self-motivation is expected.

Learning Outcomes:
Knowledge of historical and contemporary practices in the use of text in and as art.
Familiarity with how letterforms function as alphabets, images, and ideas.
Broadening of drawing and design skills.
Strengthening of visual literacy and idea generation skills.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: This 4000 level course is open to students who have completed at minimum four credits of previous work in drawing, and at least two other 4 credit Visual Art courses. Students should submit a one-paragraph, written application outlining their previous experiences in visual art at Bennington, as well as how this course relates to and supports their Plan of Study. Enrollment priority will be given to juniors and seniors who have shown through previous courses, their ability to succeed at an advanced level, and their ability to show sufficient initiative when working independently. Please note: Faculty in painting and drawing will work collaboratively in consultation with one another in an effort to appropriately distribute enrollment in 4000 level painting and drawing courses. Applications should be submitted to with the subject heading “Visible Language” by Friday November 12th.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Drawing , Fully In-Person