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W15 Beckman - ENGLISH 124 - The Art of Absence

English 124 The Art of Absence Mary Beckman In this writing and literature course, we will study works in which absence is central — works that deal with, in both form and content, loss, lack, anonymity, silence, what's missing, what's unsaid. We'll consider the work of a spectrum of artists and writers — from Patrick Modiano to Alison Bechdel to Ana Mendieta — in a wide variety of genres — fiction, poetry, photography, film, music, etc. Questions we'll ask: How can absence serve to launch a narrative? How do authors and artists communicate via omission? How does the absent entity — be it a person, place, or thing — become, paradoxically, a charged presence in the text? In this class, you will write analytical and reflective essays designed to introduce you to key craft concerns of college writing as well as provide you the opportunity to think deeply about the course's topics and texts. We will pre-write, draft, collaboratively workshop, and revise complex arguments that help us understand our texts, our topic, and our own experiences in new ways.

Several thin coats of blue-gray acrylic paint have been applied to primed linen canvas whose weave was altered by removing threads at more or less regular intervals. She then carefully sanded down the paint to highlight the new texture and make “visible the life within the linen material.” (artist’s statement (2009), http://www.eddarenouf.com/Statement.html)
Edda Renouf
Continuous
1976
acrylic | canvas
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the Nation Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services
2008/2.255
This print has rows of stencilled black text in all capital letters on black background. In pencil, the print is signed and dated (l.r.) "Glenn Lignon '92" and numbered (l.l.) "27/45". 
Glenn Ligon
Untitled
1992
etching, aquatint, spitbite, sugarlift | Rives BFK paper
Museum Purchase
1993/2.13.3
A bulbous vessel with narrow mouth and base. The wood is burned and cracked and circled by three gold bands, two of which overlap.<br />burnt wood vessel with gold
Todd Hoyer
Three Gold Rings, from Ringed Series
1991
eucalyptus, imitation gold leaf
Gift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen
2002/2.145
A photograph depicting a man sitting nude on a porch rail with his back turned toward the camera. Bright light filters through leaves on a nearby tree.
John Dugdale
Smile For Your Lover Comes (Stone Ridge, New York)
2000
cyanotype | paper
Museum Purchase made possible by the Harry Denham Trust
2003/1.379
A man, a woman, and a child facing the viewer with their hands folded in prayer. The man and woman sit on a mattress and look to heaven. The child stands in front of them with his head bowed. Next to the child is a diminutive cow. In the background behind the family are images of fish and birds.
Max Pechstein
The Lord's Prayer, sheet 10 - For Thine Is the Kingdom (Das Vaterunser - Denn Dein ist das Reich)
1921
woodcut with hand-coloring | paper
Museum Purchase
1948/1.432
Empty beach with volleyball net set up.
Harry Callahan
Cape Cod
1972
gelatin silver print | paper
Museum Purchase
1990/2.31
Bruce Davidson
Untitled (Child with a Doll Carriage), from "Welsh Miners"
1981
gelatin silver print | paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas M. Kenyon
1983/2.243.3
This is a line drawing done in colors of red, orange, blue, yellow, brown and green, on white paper. In the top center portion of the sheet are the words, "A LIE". Below this are forms that resemble an egg, a slice of bacon, a piece of bread with a pat of yellow butter. Below these forms are some round shapes, labeled "flakes", a bowl and a carton of milk, labeled "milk".
Jean-Michel Basquiat
A Lie
1981
colored crayons | paper
Gift of Arthur Cohen in honor of Ben and Yetta Cohen
1985/2.18
Edward Hopper
Night Shadows
1921
etching | Van Gelder wove paper
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. S.J. Axelrod
1983/1.146
Hana Hamplová
Untitled
1980
gelatin silver print | paper
Gift of Mrs. Marion Hrebek Keys
1990/1.226
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
The sleep of reason produces mosters (El sueño de la razon produce monstruos)
1799
etching and burnished aquatint | paper
Gift of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco, and partial purchase with the funds from the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
2008/1.152.43
Antique- and aged-looking photograph of a dreamy, perhaps nocturnal, landscape. In the foreground, a massive tree rises up into the hazy night, and trees recede into the distance. White pock marks give the whole scene, sky and land, an ethereal starry look.
Sally Mann
Untitled (Manassas #25)
2002
gelatin silver print, varnished | paper
Museum purchase made possible by the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
2004/2.129

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Absence — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:56 am)
Comparative — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:56 am)
University class selection — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:56 am)
Visual and literary themes — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:56 am)

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Last Updated

March 1, 2018 3:25 p.m.

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