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Art Green, Regulatory Body, 1974. Oil on canvas, 75 1/4 x 57 1/4 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The Bill McClain Collection of Chicago Imagism.

Lesson Plan | Art Green: Mixed Media Collages – MMoCA


Regulatory Body, 1974, oil on canvas 


Visual Art, Language Arts, Social Studies, Health, Guidance 


Mary Kohl Johnson, art educator 

Essential Questions

  1. How does knowing the contexts, histories and traditions of art help us create works of art and design?
  2. How can language and words give direction and meaning to art work? 

Grade Level



  • Students will create a mixed media collage with layered spatial planes inspired by the painting, Regulatory Body, by Chicago Imagist Art Green. 


Discuss the stylistic trademarks of both the Surrealists and the Chicago Imagists, including theatrical or architectural settings, layered visual planes, unreal or unusual colors for objects, unusual scale of objects in relationship to each other, juxtaposition of objects not usually associated with each other. Introduce Regulatory Body by Art Green.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you see? What details has the artist included in his painting?
  2. How would you describe the sense of depth or space that he has created?
  3. What might the combination of objects and their arrangement suggest to you?
  4. What might be the significance of the title, Regulatory Body?


Begin by giving students a two-word title that could have multiple meanings or interpretations, e.g., Regulatory Body, Moving Violation, Protective Agency. The title could reference different academic subjects or current events. Alternatively, begin by asking students to collect a storehouse of clipped images from magazines, newspapers, clipart, etc., that interest, intrigue and inspire them.

Students carefully cut images and construct a dramatic theatrical stage or architectural setting using at least three visual planes—foreground, middle ground, background—that illustrates their interpretation of the provided two-word phrase. Ask students to apply the characteristics of the Chicago Imagists regarding color, scale and juxtaposition of unrelated objects to their work, and to create the illusion of layered planes. For the alternative method, ask students to notice a theme that begins to emerge from their combined images, and to name the “production” in two words. Suggested discussion questions (also may be adapted for assessment rubric):

  • How do your images relate to your central theme?
  • Which images are most important, and why?
  • How will you designate their importance, e.g. by size, placement, or color?
  • Does the title students have imagined allow for multiple meanings and interpretation?


Magazines, catalogs, digital clipart, Exacto knife, scissors, matte medium, thick cardboard or canvas board 


Surrealism, Chicago Imagist, scale, proportion, juxtaposition, foreground, middle ground, background 


Language Arts, Social Studies 


Wisconsin State Standards

Art and Design: A.4.2, A.8.2, A.12.2 / A.4.3, A.8.3, A.12.3 / D.4.4, D.8.4, D.12.4 / E.4.5, E.8.5, E.12.5

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