Review Blog

Oct 17 2012

Found: the art of recycling by Lisa Holzl

cover image

Walker Books Australia, 2012. ISBN 9781921720130.
Recommended. Reference. Art. Recycling. In this handbook introducing students to various art styles of the twentieth century and encouraging them to try them for themselves, the teacher will find lots of information to share with their classes as well as hints about how to encourage their students to try their hand at the styles shown. The idea of recycling is given in its broadest sense from the cover with many words which advance the idea of recycling, to the pages inside showing just how many artists have gone about their work. Using other medium for their work began in the early 1900's with Picasso using newspaper, Duchamp using a bicycle wheel, while Hausman used part of a wooden model.
Each double page introduces one artist, and after a potted history of the times, shows one of his or her works which reflects the idea of using found objects. Picasso is the first represented. A brief outline of his life and times follows, then an image of a painting done in 1913 is shown, briefly discussed then set in its time. At the bottom of the page is given an outline of an activity which could be done in the classroom, emulating the work by that artist. For people wanting more information there are references at the back of the book to other books and websites.
Each of the artists represented here reflects a different style of work done in the twentieth century, and range from Picasso at the beginning to Fiona Hall and others born towards the end of the century. A contents page is followed by a timeline of the major art movements of the twentieth century from Cubism to Installation art, and each artist represented fits one of these categories.
The whole is rounded off with a glossary, potted biographical notes about each of the artists and a detailed index. This is a wonderful teaching tool for primary classrooms and the look of the book, presented as a scrapbook with torn paper, newspaper scraps and sellotape, add to the interest the book will engender.
Fran Knight

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