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The 4 Steps of Art Criticism
Transcript of The 4 Steps of Art Criticism
The 4 Steps of Art Criticism
Critiquing an artwork is like playing detective.
You must assume that the artist has a secret
message hidden within the work. Your job is
to find the message and solve the mystery.
We will be using a simple four step approach that will help you find the hidden meanings in art. These four steps must be taken in order:
1. Description-What do I see?
2. Analysis-How is the work organized?
3. Interpretation-What message does this artwork communicate?
4. Judgment-Is this a successful work of art?
Make a list of all the things you see in the work: size of the work, the medium used, the process used, the subject, object, details and elements of art used. You must be objective.
Discover how the principles of art are used
to organize the art elements of line, color,
value, shape, form, space and texture.
Explain or tell the meaning or mood of the work. You make guesses about the artwork, as long as they appear to be supported by what you see in the work. Use your intelligence, imagination, and courage. Don’t be afraid to make an interpretation that is different from someone else’s. After all you are different from other people.
Determine the degree of artistic merit.
You may use aesthetics to help you decide
whether the work is successful. A work
can be very successfully aesthetically, but
you might not want to live with it.
Critique a Work of Art
1. What do you see?
List all the information from the credit line on your paper.
What is the subject of this work?
2. How is this work organized?
What Art Elements are used?
What colors are used?
About how large is each can?
Are the cans spaced evenly?
In what way is the bottom row of cans different?
3. What message does this artwork communicate to you?
Why do you think the artist made the bottom row different?
Why do you think the artist spaced the cans as he did?
Form a conclusion about the meaning of depicting ordinary soup cans.
4. What do you think of the work?
Do you think it is a successful work of art?
Why or Why not?
Andy Warhol was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. He began his career as a commercial artist in New York City. He was a painter, movie director and producer, and publisher. Warhol was a leader of the Pop art movement, an art style that celebrated images from contemporary culture, such as comic book characters and everyday objects, helping viewers to see them in a whole new light. Warhol's favorite subjects included celebrities and product packaging, as in 100 CANS. When asked why he chose soup cans as his subject, he explained that he had soup for lunch every day for 20 years.
Andy Warhol. 100 CANS. 1962. Oil on canvas. 182.9 x 132.1 (72 x 52"). Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Buffalo, New York. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, 1963. ©2003 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/TM Licensed by Campbell's Soup Co. All Rights Reserved.