text Prebles, Artforms 9th edition Patrick Frank________________________________________
Please read carefully. You are required to visit a major museum or a reputable art museum in your area, select a work of art to discuss and critique in an analytical and historical context.
• Orlando Museum of Art http://www.omart.org/
2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803-1483, ph (407) 896-4231
The process of art criticism involves description, formal analysis, interpretation, and value judgment. The first step is to put into words a description of what you see, then formally analyzing the visual elements and principles of design. Next, subjectively interpret (hopefully with new insight) what the content is, taking into account style. Finally, judging, and going beyond prejudging to discernment, the work of art being studied; what do you think the artist's intentions were? Was this communicated? Does it have value? Can you recognize the aesthetic quality in the work? Additionally, biographical or historical information should be offered. Therefore, education and evaluation help to creatively critique a work of art.
Your paper double-spaced, with 1” margins. These pages do not include photos, title page, bibliography, etc. Type size should not exceed 12 points. Your paper should have an introduction and a conclusion. Include the title information in a separate paragraph preceding your discussion of the piece. You must use at least four sources. Research can come from the Internet and from books on art history, religion, and mythology. Please use at least two Internet sources for your paper.
First, Select a Museum ORLANDO
Select a work of art and get started
1. IDENTIFICATION: At the museum or museum site, you are to select a work of art. You may select a piece that you like or dislike. Copy down all the information provided; Artist, title, medium, year, etc. Write down your initial responses. How do you respond to the work? Does it invoke an emotional response? What do you think the artist was trying to communicate? It is helpful to bring a notebook to record your responses.
2. DESCRIBE the piece. Look at it CAREFULLY. What do you see? Note all the details about the work. How would you describe it to a blind person, or to someone you were talking to on the phone, who can’t see it?
3. ANALYZE the visual elements and design principles as you did in the short paper. Think about the relationship between form, content and subject matter in your analysis. This will be helpful in your 'interpretation' of the work. Use the terminology you have learned in class, particularly terms in Chapters 2 -5. Your analysis should be based your own observations while viewing the work.
4. INTERPRETATION Follow your analysis with a subjective interpretation of the meaning of the work. How does the work make you feel? What do you think the content is? Go beyond “I like it” or “I don’t like it.”
5. RESEARCH the artist. Historical and biographical information often provides clues into a works context and its intended meaning.
6. VALUE JUDGEMENT. What do you think the artist's intentions were? Was this communicated? Does it have value? Can you recognize the aesthetic quality in the work?
• What to document?
Anything that is not considered common knowledge (information that can be found in at least 4 sources). This includes opinions, judgments, little known facts, direct quotes, and conclusionary statements. “Works cited in paragraphs are used to give credit to sources of any material borrowed, summarized or paraphrased. One work is cited in paragraph it must be listed in Reference page. They are intended to refer readers to the exact pages of the works listed in the Works Cited, References, or Bibliography section.”
• Where to document?
The Reference page is where you direct your reader to go for further information about works cited. You can use APA 5th Edition Style, citing works.
• How to document?
Using APA Style: At the end of your sentence include the Author’s last name, published date, and the page # enclosed parenthesis. (Author, published date, pg. #). You can also cite in various ways in the paragraph. This style then requires you to list the full bibliography on Reference page.
The following steps will help you write your paper.
Here is more of a guideline for approaching your paper. This is very similar to the process used by art critics. This is not an outline of your paper but you can use it if it helps. I hope it will help you think about the works of art you have selected in a more in-depth way.
Note the title of the work, the date, the artist (if known), medium, and size.
B. Description: What do you see?
As fully as possible, describe what you see.
- What is it made of?
- How big is it?
- Go into detail about what you see. Describe it as if you were helping a blind person “see” it.
How would you describe it to someone who had never seen it?
- What subjects are represented?
- It can be helpful to begin looking at a work of art from the middle and work your way out.
C. Analysis: Describe the form of the work
Explain how visual elements and principles of design are used in the work. The terms in chapters 2, 3 & 4 will be very helpful. Go back and look at the chapter outlines or Short Paper assignment. Use them to:
- Describe the use of visual elements such as line, shape, color & space used in the pieces.
For example: In what way is it balanced? Is it asymmetrical or symmetrical? What is
emphasized? What seems to be the dominating visual element? Is it realistic or abstract?
D. Interpretation: What is the content of the work? What does it mean?
What do you think the artist was trying to communicate? How does the artist accomplish this through the use of form? This is an important part of analyzing a work of art, how form and content work together.
E. Research: Include historical information about the artist. Knowing about the artist’s history can provide interesting insights into his/her work and how the work reflects the time and culture.
F. Value Judgment: Does the piece have any value or worth?
What did you like about the work? Was it the form, content, or subject matter? Did it remind you of something that you have seen or experienced?
- How does it make you feel?
- How or why does it evoke these feelings?
- Rethink first description and go beyond “I like it” or “I don’t like it”
- What did the artist have in mind? Can you tell?
- Does the piece seem to have a certain level of insight into a subject matter?
- Does it seem inexhaustible? Is there enough interest to hold your attention? When something is
inexhaustible it calls us back again and again. Can you tell? Did the artist succeed?
Your papers will also be graded based on the following characteristics.
Characteristics of an “A” paper
1. Concrete and relevant terms used
2. Meaningful determinations based on insightful and personal observations
3. Superior analysis of theme / artwork
4. Clearly outstanding use of research and terminology
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