A How to: Art Critique

Terri Hughes

Story Teller "Small Spirits"

The Story Teller sculpture was created by Cochiti Pueblo in 1964 ("Native American Storyteller Dolls", n.d.). The first storyteller was a male figure to represent his grandfather, with a child on his lap ("Native American Storyteller Dolls", n.d.). Todays storytellers may be men, women or animals with at least one listener with them. The main character has his/her mouth open in a singing way because it was/is through song that many stories were told and passed down to the children ("Native American Storyteller Dolls", n.d.).

Steps to Critique

Describe: Describe the above Storyteller. How would you describe the colors? The texture? The use of positive and negative space? Is there a focal point? What about the proportion of the piece and the pieces (children) attached to it? Do you see a theme or how the different elements fit together?


Analyze: Now take a more in depth look at this piece. When you describe the colors consider how they work together or against one another. Are they complimentary to the imagine being projected? The texture that you see, is it all over or is there a purposeful placement? The use of positive and negative space, does it contribute to the image? What do you see as the focal point and what makes it the focal point for you? Consider the overall sculpture and the agenda the artist had in its creation, does it work?


Interpret: If you knew nothing at all about this piece what you say was going on? Could you have guessed the purpose. What elements ensure that the artists message is delivered? What about this makes it art? Can you tell why this piece may be an attention getter?


Judge: Combine how you have described this piece, your analysis and your interpretation of the sculpture and provide your judgment. This is your opportunity to give your opinion.

Your Turn

Describe, Analyze, Interpret and Judge


Describe this piece:


____________________ ___________________


____________________ ___________________


____________________ ___________________


Analyze the words you used to describe the sculpture, now dig deep and create sentences that rationalize those word choices:


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


Interpret the sculpture based on how it makes you feel, based on the visual appearance and purpose of the piece:


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


Judge, but before you do; go back through how you described it, how you analyzed it and interpreted the piece. Then make your final judgment on it.


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


The final step to any good critique is to share and compare with someone that has also viewed the art. Discuss your ideas. Does it change your judgment?


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________

References

Native American Storyteller Dolls. (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2016, from http://www.palmstrading.com/native-american-storytellers

Additional Resources on Storyteller Dolls