Spring 2017

Experimental Painting: Materials and Meaning

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-301


Cullen B. Washington (Section 01)


This course encourages an experimental approach toward painting. The starting place of our conversation is textual rather than visual, including excerpts from manifestos, novels, TV, and cinema. From here, a group of visual works will be created. Students will be encouraged to test the boundaries of painting each week with the use of unconventional methods, materials, and a range of different strategies. What is an experiment? An experiment is a procedure carried out to verify, refute, or validate a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause and effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. Our class experiment is to see what happens when we challenge the following approaches to painting: The essentialism of the material versus the dislocation from its essence or inheritance; the relational versus the non-relational; and order versus chaos.

Requisite:  ARHA 111 and ARHA 215 or equivalent.  Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Visiting Artist-in-Residence Washington.

If Overenrolled: Priority to majors who have had more than one course in drawing and one course in painting.


Artistic Practice


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017