Week 3


Visual Art I YEAR LONG- Module 3 Christo Critique - Art Criticism

This week we are covering how to write an art criticism. I am going to present the same document that is in the module here, so that everyone can know what I am looking for in your art criticism. You will write two criticisms during the semester, and then the final. The criticism needs to be four paragraphs. They are titled: Description, Analysis, Interpretation and Judgement. Each paragraph will be 10 sentences long. Using the following guidelines, you will have no problem achieving this. Some of these concepts might be new to you, but throughout your art career - grade school, middle school, you learned about the elements and principles of art. Use what you know, and look up things if you aren't sure. Make sure you find out more about the artist Christo, but focus only on one of his art pieces for this art criticism.

You will see lists of possible descriptions, so pick which ones apply to the artwork you are writing about. In this case, Christo. You will be writing in essay form, not listing or bullet points:

Art Criticism

A Way to Talk/Write About Art

Step One: Description – What do I see?

Include The Facts

1. The Credit Line

A. List the name, title, year, medium, size, and location of the artwork.

B. When listing the medium or media of the artwork consider the processes used to create the artwork.

1. Drawing Media: crayon, pastel, pencil, marker, etc.

a. Drawing processes: hatching, crosshatching, blending, stippling, etc.

2. Paint Media: acrylic, oil, watercolor, water-soluble oil, gouache, egg tempera, tempera, watercolor, etc.

a. Paint processes: pouring, staining, brushing, dry brushing, etc.

3. Printmaking Media: ink, paint, plates, etc.

a. Printmaking processes: relief, intaglio, lithography, screen printing, etc.

4. Sculpture Media: wood, clay, found objects, metal, etc.

a. Sculpture processes: modeling, carving, casting, assembling, etc.

5. Craft: clay, glass, wood, fiber, metal, etc.

a. Craft processes: pottery, glassmaking, weaving, quilts, baskets, jewelry, metal

6. Architecture Media: sticks, bark, ice, leaves, grass, leaves, bricks, stone, wood, steel, iron, concrete, etc.

a. Architectural processes: post-and-beam construction, dome, vaulted halls, arches, etc.

7. Photography Media: prints, film, digital, video

a. Photography processes: analog, digital systems, digital programs, etc.

2. The Subject: What is the subject of the work and what objects are included in the artwork?

A. Examples could include:

trees young people old people rocks flowers water animals boats food sky

B. Also include pertinent details of the objects and subject matter of the artwork.

3. The Culture/Time Period: What culture or historical art time period was the work of art created in?

prehistoric Mesopotamia Egypt India China Japan

Islam Africa Olmec Mayan Aztec Inca

Native American Greece Rome Byzantine Romanesque Gothic

Renaissance Baroque Dutch Rococo Neoclassicism

Romanticism Realism Impressionism Post-Impressionism Expressionism

Cubism Surrealism Regionalists Abstract Expressionism Pop and Op Art

Color-Field Painting Minimalism Architecture Post-Modern

4. The Elements of Art: What elements of art are used in the artwork? Please address these as you feel comfortable and/or according to what we have studied in class.

A. Lines:

1. What kinds of lines do you see?

implied contour calligraphic gesture

2. What adjectives would describe the lines that you see?

long short rough smooth wavy zigzag sharp fuzzy diagonal thick thin curved jagged vertical straight heavy horizontal choppy

B. Shape, Form and Space:

1. What kinds of shapes do you see? Is one kind of shape used more than others?

geometric free-form

2. What kind of space did the artist choose to use?

positive space negative space

3. If the object is 3-D, how does the object relate to space?

Freestanding high-relief bas-relief hologram kinetic

4. Is there a particular point of view to the work?

high low eye-level

5. How did the artist create the shapes or forms in space?

natural manufactured chiaroscuro perspective background placement highlights foreground overlapping converging lines

C. Colors

1. What hues do you see? Are some hues repeated more than others?

2. Do the colors have value? Do you see tints or shades?

3. Do you see high or low intensity colors?

4. What color schemes did the artist choose to use?

monochromatic analogous split-complementary complementary color triads warm cool arbitrary tonality

5. Did the artist use optical color?

D. Value

1. Do you see value ranges from dark to light?

tints shades

E. Textures

1. What kinds of texture do you see? Is there a texture repeated more than others?

rough smooth matte shiny hard soft

2. How did the artist create texture?

collage frottage grattage decalcomania

Step Two: Analysis– How is the Artwork Organized?

The Composition: Composition is the way the principles of art are used to organize the elements of art. You want to explain how the principles below organize the elements of art, which you listed in step one, to create the composition of the artwork you are writing about:

1. What principles of art are used to create the composition?

A. Rhythm and Movement

1. What kind of rhythm or repetition is used to organize one or more of the elements?

visual rhythm motif pattern

2. What type of rhythm is used?

random (no regular rhythm), regular (think the same line, shape,etc repeating), alternating (think ab pattern or abc pattern), flowing progressive (think a rhythm that is moving in a direction, like a river).

3. How did the artist use rhythm to create movement?

visual movement kinetic

B. Balance

1. What kind of balance is used to organize one or more of the elements?

formal symmetry radial

2. How did the artist create balance?

size and contour color value weight

texture position

C. Proportion

1. How did the artist use proportion to manipulate one or more of the elements?

The Golden Mean scale hierarchical proportion

elongated shortened realistic proportion exaggeration


D. Variety, Emphasis and Harmony

1. How did the artist use the principle of add interest to the elements in the work of art?

difference contrast

2. How did the artist use emphasis to add interest to the elements in the work of art?

subordinate dominate focal point contrast isolation

location convergence the unusual harmony

3. How did the artist use harmony to add interest to the elements in the work of art?


4. How did the artist use unity to add interest to the elements in the work of art?

simplicity repetition proximity

Step Three: Interpretation– What is the Artist trying to Communicate?

What is the content of the artwork?

1. The following are some of the most common functions of art. Why do you think the artist created the work of art?

A. Personal Functions: Artists create to express personal feelings.

B. Social Functions: Artists produce art to reinforce and enhance the shared sense of identity of those in a family, community, or civilization.

C. Spiritual Functions: Artists create art to express spiritual beliefs.

D. Physical Functions: Artists and craftspeople constantly invent new ways to create functional art.

E. Educational Functions: In the past, many people could not read and art was often created to provide visual instruction.

2. Based on the subject of the artwork, do you think the artist is:

A. Primarily concerned with imitating nature?

B. Trying to recreate or explore people or real world events?

C. Borrowing ideas from myths and legends for visual imagery?

D. Expressing spiritual and religious beliefs?

E. Exploring creative techniques?

F. Being influenced by artists of the past?

G. Developing visual ideas commissioned by employers?

H. Interested in expressing a feeling or emotion?

I. Concerned with composition only?

3. Does the name of the artwork tell you about its meaning?

4. The following are some words that may help you interpret the artist’s use of the elements and principles of art:

static (rest) inactivity instability tension activity excitement nervousness open closed no emotion dramatic heavy fluffy dynamism energy movement serious solemn stability formality feeling decorative natural calm strength hope peace mystery beauty hate sadness war love anger death happiness madness adventure enjoyment of work old age work fun interest in lines courage design horror loneliness interest in shapes repulsiveness boring arbitrary lifeless unique

Step Four: Judgment – Is this a Successful Work of Art?

Personal Judgment and Aesthetic Theory

1. Based on the description, analysis, and interpretation, a work of art is judged in two ways.

A. Do you like the work of art? Why or why not? Could you live with it in your house? Use the facts you have already written about to help you decide.

B. Is this an aesthetically successful work of art? Use one or more of the three aesthetic theories to help you decide.

1. Literal Qualities: the realistic qualities that appear in a work of art.

a. Imitationalism: The artwork is successful if you believe that the realistic presentation of subject matter is the most important aspect of the artwork. Perhaps you believe that artwork should imitate life and that it should look lifelike before it can be considered successful.

2. Design Qualities: how well the work is organized.

a. Formalism: The artwork is successful if you believe that composition is the most important factor in a work of art. Perhaps you believe that emphasis on the design qualities in a work of art is what makes a work of art successful.

3. Expressive Qualities: those qualities that convey ideas or moods.

a. Emotionalism: The artwork is successful if you believe that a work of art must arouse a response of feelings, moods, or emotions in the viewer. This theory is concerned with the content of the artwork

4. Functional Qualities: those qualities that make the object functional or useful in everyday life. Functionalists examine the purpose of the object: does it function properly?

a. Functionalism: The craft or object is successful if you believe that a work must be useful or functional to everyday life. This theory is concerned with the purpose of the object and its possible use in a culture or society.



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Due Date for Module 3 for Vis Art I Fall 2017 TONIGHT.

Due Date for Module 2 for Vis Art I YL TONIGHT.

Visual Art I Fall 2017 Module 3 - Due Tonight Midnight YEARLONG Module 2 Due Tonight

Please get your Module 1 assignments in asap. Work on getting assignments in before the due date, so that your peers have the opportunity to comment on your work.
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Self Portraits

Students were asked to create a very quick five minute self portrait. The purpose of this assignment was to teach the students how to post to Canvas properly. It is interesting to see the personalities that come out of these portraits. I will try to post all of the self portraits at some point during the semester.
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