Altering Consciousness Through Art History: Minimalism and Surrealism

Elizabeth Abbarno
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Taught by Elizabeth Abbarno

Elizabeth Abbarno is a creative professional currently working at a major museum in New York City. A native Texan, Elizabeth came to New York to pursue a master’s degree in Museum Studies at New York University. Her research interests include public arts initiatives, post-war American art, mid-century modern design, and fashion history.  In her spare time, she is an avid bargain hunter, voracious eater, and college football fanatic. 

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It has been said that art can be transformative. This class will probe two movements in art history that purposefully seek to transform, or cause the viewer to question, reality. During this two-session class, we'll cover the major concepts, players, and works pertaining to two movements in art history: Minimalism and Surrealism.

Week one will go back to basics, stripping away all unnecessary elements and details as we delve into Minimalism. What is so artistic about a florescent light? Yarn? We'll examine how these objects can become powerful statements, looking at the work of Dan Flavin, Fred Sandback and others.

In the second week, you might not believe what you see...melting clocks, women with three eyes, lions without faces! Bring your imagination as we explore the world of the Surrealists. We will examine the roots of this movement, and some of the reasons behind these seemingly disjointed artistic visions. Dali may be the most recognizable name associated with Surrealism, however there were many others who shared his desire to access the unconscious mind: this class will cover some of his lesser-known contemporaries. 

Come armed with your questions and opinions, while these two movements may seem disparate, perhaps they have more in common than meets the eye.  

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