01N:016:SCA Undergraduate Sculpture II

Semester: Fall 2011
Course Credit Hours: 4
Professor: Anthony Castronovo
Office Loc: SA 1328
Office Hours: M/W 1:30pm-3:00PM and by appointment
Office Phone: 319-335-1789
email: anthony-castronovo@uiowa.edu
Class Time, Location: M/W 3:30-6:20PM, 1421 SA

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The essence of sculpture is for me the perception of space, the continuum of our existence.-Isamu Noguchi

I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.-Marcel Duchamp

You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea.-Pablo Picasso


Undergraduate Sculpture II is designed for intermediate undergraduate sculpture students who want to deepen their knowledge of the materials, methods, and concepts of contemporary sculpture. This course will primarily teach sculptural techniques in metal and wood, including Oxy/Acetylene welding, MIG welding, plasma cutting, and various other power tools for working with metal. In addition, students will learn basic woodworking techniques including joinery and finishing. We will explore the history of steel and wood in art and culture, and mine the diverse conceptual potential of these materials. We will discuss twentieth century sculpture from early modernism to the present, and we will create informed works of art. Emphasis will be placed on technique, the relationship of form to concept, and the processes used in making a sculpture. Furthermore, the course will address contemporary issues relating to sculpture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

What Do Artists Know?


The materials needed will vary depending on the student and the project. The Lab fee for this course is $125, $15 of which is the woodshop fee. These fees go to support the metals and woodshop including consumable parts like drill bits and saw blades, but they also will provide some of the basic materials for projects. However, some of the projects will be more flexible and it will be left to the student's discretion to obtain materials. In general you can expect to spend an additional $100 in materials for the semester. At the beginning of each project a description will be given out with a list of materials. To get started each student will need the following:

On the second day of class, we will have a shop orientation and review and safety practices.


Tara Donovan | Jeff Koons | Richard Deacon | Ann Hamilton | delicious | Theo Jansen | Tony Cragg | Magdalena Abakanowicz | Richard Serra | Antony Gormley | Marilene Oliver | Yoan Capote | John Grade | Yong Ho Ji | David Bynoe | Lauren Kalman | Jay Nelson | Duke Riley | Alicia Eggert |Jeremy Boyle | Dietrick Wegner | Randy Polumbo | Steven Seigel | John Payne | Celeste Roberge | Mark Jenkins | Janine Antoni | Doris Salcedo | Louise Bourgeois | Mauritzio Catalan


A key component to good education and to being an engaged, informed artist is your active engagement in community events and ability to experience unique opportunities. There will be lectures, visiting artist talks, and exhibitions that will be required throughout the semester. As these events will happen outside of class, it is understandable that they might not always fit your schedule and so an alternative assignement of research and writing will be optional. We will take a field trip together to view an exhibition, which will require students to arrange transport on their own, and may involve driving a couple of hours to Des Moines, or even Chicago.




Active participation, engagement, and respectful, critical dialogue in all phases of this course are imperative. The class dynamic dependson your energy, initiative, attitude, productivity, and willingness to get involved in group discussion and critiques. Participate actively during critique and discussion. Complete all assigned readings, make drawings of ideas that happen while reading, and take detailed notes so you can contribute to the discussion in class.

Make safe and considerate choices with equipment and facilities. Do your part to keep the facilities clean. DO NOT use your phone to text, chat, or e-mail during class time. DO NOT use computers to surf the web, check email, chat, watch videos.... during class time.

Ask questions and contribute answers. Offer constructive, respectful feedback during group discussions, class workdays, and critiques. Reflect on the comments you receive to gauge the effectiveness of your work. TAKE NOTES ON EVERYTHING!!! Use your sketchbook for research and development of ideas. Examine the way your ideas change, evolve, and influence formal and conceptual choices in your work.


Grades are meant to evaluate your effort, ideas, and execution. Your overall grade will be based on participation and projects (including creativity, critical thinking, engagement with course information, research, presentation, technical proficiency , and problem solving). Expectations will be explained in detail for each project when it is assigned. If anything seems unclear, you are responsible for asking the instructor for clarification far in advance of the due date. The most successful projects will be very ambitious and well executed technically, but must also exhibit thoughtful connections between concept and form.


Your work will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria of requirements and expectations:


Official Breakdown:

FINAL SEMESTER EVALUATIONS will be averaged as follows:

ATTENDANCE: Students must be in class every day. Your presence is critical for your own education but also for the group as a whole. Attendance is a major factor in your participation grade.

CRITICAL DATES are provided with each project description. All projects are due on the due dates given in the project descriptions. Final critique will be held on the last day of class of the Fall semester.


ADMINISTRATIVE HOME: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and other related issues. Different colleges may have different policies. Questions may be addressed to 120 Schaeffer Hall, or see the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION: University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their University of Iowa e-mail address (@uiowa.edu). Faculty and students should use this account for correspondences. (Operations Manual, III.15.2. Scroll down to k.11.)

ACCOMODATIONS FOR DISABILITIES: A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet privately with the course instructor to make particular arrangements. See www.uiowa.edu/~sds/ for more information.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences expects all students to do their own work, as stated in the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty. Instructors fail any assignment that shows evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, also reporting the student's name to the College. A student reported to the College for cheating is placed on disciplinary probation; a student reported twice is suspended or expelled.

CLAS FINAL EXAM POLICIES: Final exams may be offered only during finals week. No exams of any kind are allowed during the last week of classes. Students should not asktheir instructor to reschedule a final exam since the College does not permit rescheduling of a final exam once the semester has begun. Questions should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum.

MAKING A SUGGESTION OR COMPLAINT: Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit the instructor, then the course supervisor, and then the departmental DEO. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy.

REACTING SAFELY TO SEVERE WEATHER: In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. For more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit the Public Safety web site.



Aug 22• Introductions, discussion of course. Group questions from syllabus. Talk about contemporary sculpture, compare examples. Art 21 Videos: Do-Ho Suh, Kiki Smith, Martin Puryear. HW: read about Oxy/Acetylene Welding.

Aug 24• Shop Orientations. Each student should have a copy of the woodshop safety proceedures. Demo and discussion of Oxy/Acetylene Welding. First Assignment: 4 OA Weld Joints( tee, plug, +2 more). Readings for Monday 8/29: Deacon, look at more of his work, Winsor , Cragg. Take detailed notes, make drawings, be able to refer to parts of the readings to discuss/question. Think about the styles and subject matter of each artist, compare them to each other. How would you describe each artist's work?

Aug 29• Discuss readings, idea brainstorming for Pocket Talisman Project. Studio Work for remainder. Bring cereal boxes, tape.

Aug 31• Studio work day.

Sep 5• University Holiday, NO CLASSES.

Sep 7• Weld joints due. Discuss Project 1.

Sep 12• Pocket Talisman due. Field Trip to Marion for steel.

Sep 14• Intro to MIG Welding and Plasma Cutting. 3 new joints due Mon. Studio work day.

Sep 19• Discuss artists. Proposals Due, each student will present and discuss. Studio work day.

Sep 21• MIG joints due. Studio work day. Sketchbooks due (20 pages).

Sep 26• Video: Charlie Rose on Creativity. Studio work day.

Sep 28• Studio work day.

Oct 3• Studio work day.

Oct 5• Studio work day.

Oct 10• Studio work day.

Oct 12• First Project Due at the beginning of class, Critique•••••••••••••Mid-term.

Oct 17• Clean the Foundry. Begin Section in Wood: Dana instructs on Lamination technique. Begin Collaborative Sculpture.

Oct 19• Finish cutting sections and glue monster. Each student signs up for a day to work on the monster. take a picture before and after. Learn how to use the planer and joiner to make square, true piece of lumber from a 2x4. Discuss various wood joints. Introduce the wood project.

Oct 24• Demo box joint, each student will make a perfect box joint, should fit snug: no gaps. due 10/26. Demo on carving techniques. Discuss readings on Japanese Sculpture01, and Japanese Sculpture02.

Oct 26• Box joints due. Discuss wood finishing. Experiment with various finishes.

Oct 31• Monster due. Discuss readings Louise Bourgeois and Tony Cragg.

Nov 2• Proposals Due: must be in digital format to present to the group.

Nov 7• Look at work of artists. Studio work day.

Nov 9• Carving demo, each student will experiment with block.

Nov 14• Studio work day.

Nov 16• In process critique. Studio day for remainder.

Nov 21• Studio work day.

Nov 23• Studio work day.

Nov 24-25• University Holiday, NO CLASSES.

Nov 28• Studio work day.

Nov 30• Studio work day.

Dec 7• Final Critique••••••••••••••Last day of class.