Core Studio 2: Topics in 2D
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art, Media and Technology
Department: Fine Arts
Course Number: PUFA 3220
Course Format: Studio
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Drawing
This course offers a focused investigation into a single topic. The topic can be, for example, focused simply on one specific techniques or materials, or can allow for hybrid practices, context-driven strategies, and take on larger themes. The Topics class will allow students to explore the respective areas in more focus and depth, through research-based studio work. Reading in this class is seen as an integral part of student’s studio practice. Topics in Spring 2015 include the following:

Painting + Photography: Since the 19th century, painters have used the photograph as both a representational tool and as an adversary against which to construct their practices. This studio class explores the core principles of the photograph (e.g. mimesis, light, the index, reproducibility, etc.) and uses them as platforms for individual projects in painting. These projects will investigate the key differences between working from mediated imagery, from perception, and from imagination. Why work from and with photographs, and what do we mean when we describe something as principally photographic? Likewise, how can we delineate a space outside of photographic representation at a moment when all experience seems to be in some way technically mediated? Offering an analysis of photography as well as a range of techniques in representational and abstract painting, this course will ask students to critically examine photography, its relationship to painting, and their continuing dialogue in contemporary art.

Material as Medium: In this course we will replace paint, graphite and traditional media in favor of an expanded notion of material agency. By looking at Andy Warhol’s "Piss Paintings", Andreas Serrano’s “Blood and Semen,” Wolfgang Leib’s pollen fields and Wangechi Mutu’s use of hair amongst many others, we will examine the potential of different materials as carriers of meaning and emotion. Through lectures, readings, field trips, prompt driven assignments and independent projects, the course will encourage students to expand the definitions of painting, drawing and photography by experimenting with diverse materials and substrates.

Drawing in the Expanded Field: In this course students will make drawings that interface with non-art fields, sculpture, and installation. They may use computer-based programs and take their work into 4 dimensions. Relevant artists to be discussed within the context of the course include Marcel Duchamp, Sol Lewitt, Ricci Albenda, Kara Walker, and Tara Donovan.

Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: Bachelors degree in Fine Arts majors, others by permission of the Fine Arts program. Pre-requisite(s): PUFA 2200 Core Studio 1: Sign & System, PUFA 2220 Core Lab 1: 2D, and at least one of the following: PUFA 2230 Core Lab 1: 3D or PUFA 2240 Core Lab 1: 4D.


Open to Undergraduate students.


Open to Fine Arts students.