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Exposición en Madrid

Playing Art
Education, Art and Design

22 March 23 June 2019

Playing Art: Education, Art and Design

In recent decades the relationship between the art of the 20th century and play, education, childhood and the primitive has been the subject of a considerable number of exhibitions. Some have focused on traditional toys, others on games and toys designed by the avant-gardes or by modern artists, architects and designers, while others have looked at children's drawings and literature, artists' books and those illustrated for children. Nonetheless, no exhibition has resulted from the research that has traced the influence that the new pedagogical models which appeared in the 19th century concerning both children's education and the teaching of drawing - the basis of artistic practice - had on the avant-gardes (and hence on the art, architecture and design of the entire 20th century, which were their heirs).

The visual account offered in Playing Art. Education, Art and Design aims to reveal how the innovative pedagogical theories of the 19th century that were most radically based on play and on the experience of "drawing for all" - inspired by Émile (1762) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the best-known practical expression of which is perhaps the Kindergarten system devised by Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) - have provided a highly effective but equally underappreciated starting point for the great shift introduced into tradition by modern art.

The Fundación Juan March's Education team has developed a series of playful and educational activities aimed at the different academic years. These offer workshop activities to take place at school following a guided tour of the exhibition.

Hermann Finsterlin."Zweifelswagen", 1659. Francisco de Zurbarán Hermann Finsterlin, Zweifelswagen (Hesitant Car), ca. 1928. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Donated by Erben Finsterlin. © Bpk/Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Following the guided tour of the exhibition at the Fundación Juan March and the subsequent workshop session at school, we would like you to send us the results of your work in order to add them to our archive and thus improve future activities. You can post photographs of your work on the social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) with the hashtag #eljuegodelarte. We will then make a selection out of all the works sent in order to promote the Fundación's educational activities on our website, social media sites as well as in our Bulletins.

 
  • Infant School level: visit and workshop The Universal language of geometry

    El Lissitzky, 'Neuer' (New Man), 1923. Private collection, Madrid El Lissitzky, Neuer (New Man), 1923. Private collection, Madrid.

    After welcoming participants and offering a brief introduction to the exhibition, the tour will aim to establish a dialogue with the students in order to ensure that young visitors learn about the work of the avant-garde movements and also about the toys and educational methods that inspired them.

    For Froebel, a disciple of Pestalozzi, a follower of Rousseau and the inventor of the Kindergarten method, one of the principal pedagogical aims was to arouse and guide children's senses towards the discovery of the geometrical structure underlying the visible world. Froebel also believed that if learned in childhood, the sacred language of geometry provided a common basis for humanity.

    The suggested workshop consists of identifying the geometry that underlies the world around us so that young children can assimilate and comprehend one of the basic pillars of the Kindergarten system. This activity consists of observing your surroundings in order to create your favourite animal and its habitat using geometrical forms.

    Approximate length of the visit: 35 to 40 minutes.

 
  • 2. Primary School level: visit and workshop The missing link or Collage of memories

    Victorian scrapbook. London, ca.1880. Juan Bordes Collection, Madrid Victorian scrapbook. London, ca.1880. Juan Bordes Collection, Madrid

    After welcoming participants and offering a brief introduction to the exhibition, the tour will aim to establish a dialogue with the students in order to ensure that young visitors discover the world of the avant-garde and all the documents that generated the landscape shared by some of the leading artists, architects and designers of the 20th century (toys, manuals, drawings and photographs), thus allowing for an appreciation of the practice of modern art from a new viewpoint.

    The suggested workshop consists of creating a collage of memories or a scrapbook that will contain documentation selected by each pupil from their childhood (photos, images, clippings, texts, etc), thus creating something that they can return to throughout their life.

    Approximate length of the visit: 45 to 50 minutes.

 
  • 3. Secondary School level: visit and workshop Our city

    (Left.) Laurie Simmons and Peter Wheelwright, 'Bozart House Kaleidoscope', ca. 2000.  Elisa Fernández Santos Collection. (Right.) Ladislav Sutnar, 'Build the Town. Building Block Set', 1943. Design GPO Collection, Madrid (Left.) Laurie Simmons and Peter Wheelwright, Bozart House Kaleidoscope, ca. 2000. Elisa Fernández Santos Collection. (Right.) Ladislav Sutnar, Build the Town. Building Block Set, 1943. Design GPO Collection, Madrid.

    After welcoming participants and offering a brief introduction to the exhibition, the tour will aim to establish a dialogue with the students and thus enable them to appreciate how drawing offered 20th-century artists the keys to embark on the great creative revolution towards abstraction based on the use of colour and geometry, as well as art's socio-political dimension.

    The suggested workshop is based on a school project entitled "Our city" which Olga Adams launched at the Laboratory Schools in Chicago in the 1920s. It introduces children to the way cities work, analysing in depth their vision of the city and their way of interacting with it. This activity will involve designing an ideal city from an aesthetic, functional and social viewpoint with the aim of developing students' awareness of the environment, the appreciation of modern architecture and the design of spaces.

    Approximate length of the visit: 45 to 50 minutes.

  • Inmaculada Aroca, Teresa Parladé, Isidora Nieto
  • Educators Team. Fundación Juan March