Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now From the British Museum
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
October 6, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now explores the vital role of drawing as a continual and active process of discovery. Seventy works from the British Museum’s world-renowned collection examine the many ways thinking on paper has taken form across continents and centuries, from an ancient Egyptian papyrus to works by such well-known artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso to artists working today, including William Kentridge and RISD alumna Julie Mehretu. Some works capture a fleeting thought or externalize the germ of an idea; others synthesize an elaborate plan or brainstorm multiple solutions to a problem. The exhibition as a whole investigates the ability of drawing to show the direct and immediate relationship between the artist and their material, and the continuing importance of drawing today.
Throughout history, drawing has remained the ultimate thinking medium. From recording and generating ideas to analyzing, developing, and refining them, drawing constitutes a key conceptual tool at every stage of the artistic process. To borrow a phrase from writer Virginia Woolf, a drawing captures the “likeness of a thought,” rendering visible ideas and decisions that are often eliminated from a finished work. As a method of inquiry, drawing enables a deeper understanding of its object, and through studying drawings and making drawn responses, we can turn this process of reflection back on itself, gaining a greater familiarity with artists’ thoughts and methods. Drawings allow us privileged insights into the process of creation. Invaluable lessons can be learned looking at earlier works in the context of artists working today.
Altered States: Etching in Late 19th-Century Paris
June 30- December 3, 2017
In late 19th-century Paris, the printmaking process of etching underwent a revolutionary transformation. At a time when prints were usually made as copies of paintings rather than as original works of art, a revival of interest in etching led to greater knowledge of technique, allowing artists to experiment with subject matter and process more than ever before. This exhibition features works on paper by well-known artists such as Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, as well as those lesser known today, including Albert Besnard and Henri Guérard, and features several new acquisitions to the RISD Museum’s collection.
Classroom Experience + Critique
In a typical day at RISD Pre-College, you will be in a studio course for six hours with a one-hour lunch break. Most of the day may be dedicated to group critique, lectures and demonstrations. You may be directed try new media, tools or concepts during a significant portion of the class or project time could be limited to start a project to make sure you understand the parameters for your homework. Most of the work you create will be done outside of class to give you dedicated time to develop concepts, research and complete artwork. Homework time is also an opportunity to step back from your work and gain feedback from your peers and resident advisors.
Seeking help is essential to the collegiate experience and students are encouraged to do so independently. All visual artists and designers, at every stage in their career, need the advice of others. It’s no different for Pre-College students, in fact it’s even more essential since you’re being introduced to new academic materials, methods, concepts and expectations.
When significant issues arise, a student might be directed to meet with a Program Administrator. This is an opportunity for the instructor and other students to stay focused on the curriculum while you can receive an assessment of how you’re adjusting to the program overall. You may discuss what challenges you’re facing in this new environment, and learn how you can best be supported in finding help, self-correcting and succeeding in the program.
RISD is a culture of critique. In fact, it lies at the heart of the RISD experience. Critiques, or “crits” as they’re more commonly known, take place throughout the course of each class and serve as important guideposts as you refine your work and prepare final projects.
Since most of class time is comprised of lectures, demonstrations, and critique, students will be creating the majority of their work during non-class hours. Homework assignments have strict deadlines so that students can come to class and present their completed projects. You’ll have the opportunity to build confidence in speaking about your concepts, process and outcome and then receive feedback from your peers and instructor. Through group, individual and peer critique, you have the opportunity to find your own voice and bring your vision into reality.