Master of the Month :: Richard Neutra
Every month, I introduce my students to a famous artist. I write a kid-friendly biography for each of these Masters of the Month; I display lots and lots of their artwork; and, just for fun, I draw their portraits too.
Richard Neutra is considered one of Modernism's most important architects. Like other modern architects, he designed buildings using simplified shapes and forms. Some of his most famous structures are the Kaufman Desert House in Palm Springs, California and the Cyclorama Building in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
As an art teacher, I love teaching my students about architecture. I'll seize any opportunity to prove that their art skills can be used outside the art room, and architecture is a gateway to furniture design, fashion, industrial design, and hundreds of other "unseen" art professions. Richard Neutra is an ideal artist to teach these things because (1) his amazing drawings prove that, YES, architects ARE artists, (2) he also designed some REALLY cool furniture, and (3), as a Modern architect, the simple shapes that he favored reinforce the most fundamental art skill: everything you see, no matter how complicated it looks, is made up of simple shapes. Oh, and (4) did I mention that he used to work right down the road from our school?