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Formal Analysis of Art

Teach high school students the four steps to formally analyzing artwork.
by

Erin Bruns

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Formal Analysis of Art

Formal Analysis of Artwork
Description -
pure description of the object without value judgments, analysis, or interpretation.
It answers the question, "What do you see?"
Art Form: architecture, sculpture, painting, etc.
Medium of work: clay, paint, etc., and technique (tools used)
Size of work.
Description of line. (soft, planar, jagged, etc.)
Relationships between shapes. (large, small, overlapping, etc.)
Description of color scheme.
Analysis -
determining what the features suggest and decide why the artist used such features to convey specific ideas.
It answers the question, "How did the artist do it?"
Determination of subject matter.
Analysis of the principles of design or composition.
Analysis of use of light and role of color.
Treatment of space and landscape.
Portrayal of movement.
Effect of particular medium(s) used.
Interpretation -
establishing the broader context for this type of art.
It answers the question, "Why did the artist create it and what does it mean."
Overall meaning of the work.
Explain what you think the artwork is about in one sentence?
What evidence inside or outside the artwork supports your interpretation?
Judgment -
Judging a piece of work means giving it rank in relation to other works and of course considering a very important aspect of the visual arts; its originality.
It answers the question, "Is it a good artwork?"
What
criteria
do I think are most appropriate for judging the artwork?
What
evidence
inside or outside the artwork relates to each criterion?
Based on the criteria and evidence, what is my
judgment
about the quality of the artwork?
Full transcript