Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Austrian Art Series: Kokoschka

Schlafende Frau, Oskar Kokoschka, 1906-08
Like the girl above, many art prints are currently snoozing in my classroom closet. After two successful activities focused on paintings done by Austrian artists (Klimt's Der Tod und das Leben was the first and Kokoschka's here was the second), I am very much looking forward to using more of them during the next school year. As well, I'm so grateful for all of the resources that Fund For Teachers has afforded me, so that my students and I can experience more visual art.

Let me share with you now, how I built an activity around Oskar Kokoschka's piece "Schlafende Frau/the sleeping woman." It is actually a part of a larger series by the artist. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has a nice write up on it. Or you can read in German at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg about this piece.

The bold strokes and colors of this Expressionist piece completely pull me in, and I love how it gives me and my students the opportunity to discuss Expressionismwhich does not get the marketing push that the Impressionists do.

The activity that I created for this artwork is for a day devoted to learning stations. Each station is given 20 minutes. The activity was completed by students in German 1. The students who came to the Austrian art station found these tasks:
  • read a biographical text about Oskar Kokoschka
Kokoschka war österreichischer Maler und Dramatiker.
Er wurde 1886 in einem Dorf namens Pöchlarn in Österreich geboren. 
Er wohnte und studierte in Wien, als er jung war. 
Er ist bekannt als Maler des Expressionismus, wie Vincent Van Gogh und Edvard Munch 
Er kämpfte in dem ersten Weltkrieg. 
Er reiste gern und wohnte in vielen anderen Orten, wie zum Beispiel, England, Nordafrika, und Deutschland. 
Er starb am 22. Feb 1980 in der Schweiz.

  • view the painting
  • discuss with your group the painting using the prompts provided and record your responses.
  1. Was siehst du im Bild?
  2. Welche Farben hat Kokoschka benutzt?
  3. Was passiert im Bild?
  4. Wo ist das Mädchen?
  5. Wie findest du Kokoschkas Gemälde?
  6. Was für Gefühle drückt sich das Gemälde aus? Freude? Angst? Traurigkeit? Mut? Wut? Etwas anders?
  7. Geben Sie dem Gemälde einen Titel.
In retrospect, I need to develop an activity to accompany the biography reading. Not sure what to do with that yet. I don't want it to be too complicated, but it needs something that motivates the students to actually read the text. Maybe a targeted word list for the students to sketch?

I'm glad that I'm pushing my personal envelope and utilizing art in the classroom. I'm dreaming of a summer workshop in Switzerland that is all about art history in the German-speaking world. Can someone get on developing that for me?

If you are interested in a copy of the handout that I made for this activity, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Hooray to me for completing a blog entry about an activity that was completed in November! :)

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