Subtractive Minimalist Sculpture

Subtractive Minimalist Sculpture

Simplifying Form

Big Idea:

To simplify form and structure through design.

Description of Setting:

High School Art Classroom, 30+ students, 9 tables, 35 chairs, 2 sinks, projector

Public School, Fall Semester, 1st Quarter

45 minute class periods

Art History:

Examples of artists using subtractive design in sculpture: Richard Serra, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Anne Truitt, Adam Bateman, Tony Smith, Mauro Staccioli, Robert Smithson

Minimalism is still quite prevalent in todays artwork. We see it in paintings and sculptures. We as a society with our hectic lives are all trying to simplify what we know and how we live. Thes subtractive elements are themes in many artists works.

Goal and Outcomes:

Students will work out relevant ideas on minimalism.

Students will look at the art of many minimalist artists.

They will sketch out ideas to begin their subtractive design elements.

Students will be able to use stone structural cement, plaster of paris, or other mineral to cut into and out of a design created on paper.

Students before beginning will have a miniature clay sculpture design of their idea.

Students will define minimalism in their work by taking away from the material given as well as simplifying a design down to its necessary parts.

Student will discuss and critique artwork

Students will display artwork in the manner it is meant to be seen.


sketchbooks, pencils, Plaster of paris, cement, wood, linoleum, card board, clay other liquid to solid materials. Metal, minerals

Management Procedure:

Students will arrive on time and take there seats for attendance. Students will stay attentive and quiet while working.Students will not text on cell phones. Students will raise hand with questions. Students will respect one another and the work that is being created. Students will give positive feed back.

Instructional Process:

Students will walk into class and take their seats and wait for instruction. Once everyone is quiet students will be presented the still life assignment. We will then discuss drawing as line.

Basic set of art history will be outlined for them. Students will have time to think and discuss how they might create art using minimalism as their standard. solid forms cut out from a block. Think about a repetition in sculpture. How can we take an image or advanced drawing and simplify its being.

Students will discuss working with minimalist design techniques and decide on what they want to use for their form as their subtractive element.

They will sketch out ideas to begin forming clay molds that will fill as their base for the relief.

Once the clay mold is approved. They can move on to the creation of the final piece.

It must have a place and a reason to exist.

Students will use numerous techniques to recreate possible textures or structural bases for their work.

Students will be able to use power tools and work cohesively as a unit.

Students will discuss and critique work.

Students will use artists discussed to write a paper and presentation to give in class.

critique and discussion.

Students will have the opportunity to pick an artist discussed to start there paper. This paper will help create an art history book and test material at the end of the year.

As the time nears end, the students will put away all material and find their table and wait for the bell patiently.

Student will leave the classroom courteous of one another.

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