Introduction to Art Art Criticism- An organized approach for studying a work of art.
The Four Steps of Art Criticism • Description- What do I see? • Analysis- How is the work organized? • Interpretation-What message does this artwork communicate to you? • Judgment-Is this a successful work of art?
Description • Make a list of all the things you see in the work including: • The size of the work, the medium used and the process used. • The subject, object, and details. • The elements of art used in the work. • BE OBJECTIVE-be general, do not use personal feelings or meanings-just list what you see (A person, abuilding, etc.)
Analysis • Collect facts about the elements and principles of art: • How are the principles used to organize the elements (line, color, value, shape, form, space, and texture). • How has the artist used the elements and principles to create the content (the theme or meaning).
Interpretation • What message does this artwork communicate to me? • Explain or tell the meaning or the mood of the work. • Use your intelligence, imagination and courage to determine the message. • You must back up your opinion with facts and clues you collected during Description and Analysis.
Judgment • Determine the degree of artistic merit. • FIRST LEVEL IS PERSONAL-do you like the work? Don’t forget you have to support your opinion using art terms. • SECOND LEVEL-you use aesthetics to help you decide whether the work is successful. • A work can be very successful aesthetically, but you might not want to live with it!
Aesthetic Theories and the Quality of Art • Realistic qualities • Formal qualities • Expressive qualities • Functional qualities
Realism • If the purpose of the artist was primarily to copy reality, we would call it Realism or Imitationalism. • Value, or shading and accurate color and size of objects are all elements used in Imitationalism Wm. Harnett My Gems
Realism (Imitationalism)-Literal Qualities Andrew Wyeth Christina’s World. 1948 • Realistic • Imitates reality • Focuses on realistic representation • Imitates life Duane Hanson Sculptor 1925-1996 Richard Estes-Holland Hotel,1984 Queenie II, 1988
Leonardo Da Vinci Self Portrait Albrect Durer Study of an Apostle’s Hands
Formalism • When the artist is focusing more on the formal qualities of art – the elements and principles – then we call this Formalism. • Formalism uses line, color, shape, space, and value, but not in a representational way Vassily Kandinsky Composition X
Formalism-formal qualities • Composition • Emphasis on the formal qualities-the arrangement of the elements of art using the principles of design. Frank Stella Flin Flon XIII Victor Vasarely Wassily Kandinsky
Expressionism • When the main motive of an artist is to convey an emotion or idea to the viewer, we call this type of art Expressionism, or Emtionalism • Works showing Emotionalism may also be Imitational or Formal, but their more important emphasis is on a mood or feeling.
Emotionalism-Expressive qualities • Content of the work of art • Emotional response from the viewer • Work must arouse a response of feelings, moods, or emotions Francisco de Goya, The Third of May, 1808 Edward Munch, The Scream Vincent Van Gogh, Self Portrait
Pablo Picasso Gurenica 1937 11’ x 25.6’
Functional qualities • When a work of art serves a function, • i.e. to drink from, to wear, to sit upon, etc.
Formalism? Imitationalism? Emotionalism? Frida's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth dates as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Frida was born an imaginative storyteller and this was one of many ways she rearranged the truth. Although she was spunky and courageous, Frida Kahlo lived a life of pain and suffering, mostly in the artistic shadow of her famous husband, Diego Rivera. Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas. Oil on Masonite.
Emotionalism? Imitationalism? Formalism? Fish received her BA from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts and her MFA from Yale University School of Art & Architecture, New Haven, Connecticut. She is well known for her brilliantly hued, light filled still lifes and landscapes with figures, and an exciting body of prints in a variety of media. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Powers Institute, Sydney, Australia; and others. Fish Vase, Oil on canvas, Janet Fish
Imitationalism? Formalism? Emotionalism? Elizabeth Murray was born in Chicago in 1940. A high school teacher recognized her talent and created a scholarship for her at the Art Institute of Chicago. She developed a style that combines painting with sculpture. Murray is now considered a master of the shaped canvas. Elizabeth Murray, “Bowtie”, 2000, Oil on canvas, 85 x 77 1/2 inches