Sunday Conversations – On Art education

Yesterday ( Sunday) I went to visit the Tate Modern with a friend, I haven’t been to this favourite gallery of mine since I saw the Yayoi Kusama in 2012. Oh my that is a long time a go. Considering the place is free to enter except special exhobitions.

I didn’t go to see the special exhibition which is Matisse, but just went to mooch around and see my friend.

Tate Modern Matisse exhibition

Tate Modern I would guess has works or has displayed works of most modern art famous artists. So anyone you could think of. Here is a Tracey Emin’s.


Tracy Emins Work at Tate Modern

Anyway, today we saw work one of Alexander Calder, mobile, to which my friend (who grew up in England) said: “I made an artwork inspired by him for my art class when I was 14”

I was like: “Whaaat? at 14?”
F: “hmm it was rubbish though, cos it was more of a mobile for a baby than million pounds worth of a Calder”
Me staring at him demanding more explanation.
F: ” I made a carrot shaped mobile, hahahahah! obviously I got a C on that, which I thought was excellent considering what it was.”
Me: ” What was the assignment?”
F: “We were given several modern artist that we can take inspiration from, I chose Calder because it was the more interactive.”
He walked a way and started to look at a Miro.


Alexander Calder - Mobile in Tate Modern

Alexander Calder – Mobile in Tate Modern – Taken From


This got me thinking of my art education growing up in Indonesia. I knew nothing of Calder, Miro etc. At 14, in Indonesia it was Junior High, my art class consist of playing an instrument, singing, or drawing a glass/ bottle. Maybe I did not pay enough attention I didn’t remember learning about artists or art history or anything like that. I think we may have learnt about Basoeki Abdullah, but I am not sure.

It is not I did not know about Rembrandt, Van Gogh and their friend, but I only knew these artist from either my family (a lot of which are artists) or through reading books. I have never heard of Calder, Mondrian, Miro, Moore, until I was in England.

What did you learn in your art class when you were 14? Did you ever learn about the famous names in art in school?

Indonesian, was it just me not paying enough attention or was it like that with you? If you have children, is it still like that or would they have learnt about great artist?