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Emotional Formalism

9 September - 10 October | Wednesdays, 7-9pm

Course Description


Our seminar focuses on how the formal elements of visual art (at its most basic: color, line, shape, texture, material, scale, etc.) combine to create gestures, compositions, images, and objects. We will bridge the conventional gap between "Form" and "Content" with the belief that formal language transmits, directly and indirectly, the art's intention: its human content, emotional charge, psychological state, philosophical message, and political statement. As Kenneth Burke once wrote "when you begin to consider the situations behind the tactics of expression, you will find tactics that organize a work technically because they organize it emotionally." Our goal is to gather a working vocabulary of these "tactics" for discussing contemporary art. Every class will have a reading and writing assignment and participants must commit to all seven meetings.


Jarrett Earnest

Jarrett Earnest is an artist and writer living in New York City. He teaches and is Faculty Liaison at the free experimental art school the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU); and is co-founder of the alternative art space 1:1 in the Lower East Side (2011-2012). His criticism and long-form interviews appear regularly in the Brooklyn Rail, Village Voice, Art in America, San Francisco Art Quarterly, Art Practical, and many other publications.