Instrumentalism is when art is used as an instrument to further a point of view that might be moral, social, religious or political. It demands that art be more than an aspect of decoration or beauty. That it stimulates people to think conceptually or make a change in the social world.
I think it's important to understand that instrumental art can be in the form of propaganda used during war times, or they can be images that depict real events. Below I have included some examples:
My first piece is an artwork that teeters between formalism and instrumentalism. , attempts to make the viewer think about how we cannot undo and fix everything we have caused,
especially in the area of global warming. I used the metaphor of sewing to demonstrate the effects of global warming. We are unable to create the ice that we have melted. Those habitats will forever be lost unless the world is sent into an ice age. This is not to say that we cannot do anything to try and correct the situation. It is a call to attention, to use our abilities as humans to reverse the effects and to begin planning for the future. We have the ability to change our environmental footprint, it's not to late.
Alyssa McLean (2018). You can't sew it back together, acrylic on canvas, 16x20.
The next piece in my instrumental series is a topographical painting of the arctic ice mass. I attempt to use the method of topographical mapping to demonstrate how the arctic ice mass has greatly diminished over the past 20 years and how it will continue to do so if we do not make changes to our current methods of living.
Alyssa McLean (2018). Warning: This is no longer accurate, acrylic on canvas, 16x20.