Abstract Cartoons!

This is one of my favorite, tried and true lessons so I figured what better way to kick of a new year.  In this lesson, 6th Grade students are introduced to Elizabeth Murray and her abstract cartoon paintings.  Being a native of Chicago and a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, students are always excited to hear her connection to the city.

At first, her artwork seems purely abstract and a bit overwhelming.  After some time students are able to develop a much better understanding of her work and are able to decipher the images to understand the painting’s theme. We spend time in class using the 4 steps of Art Criticism (describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate) to develop an understanding of her work.

After describing what they see and interpreting what the images show us, students are always excited to understand the content of the painting.  Here are some examples of the images we discuss in class:

Check out some of the awesome student work inspired by Elizabeth Murray!

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