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Art Criticism

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Ben Pawlowski

on 25 March 2013

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Transcript of Art Criticism

Art Criticism Goals:
1. Gain a full understanding of what art criticism is
2. Become aware of what skills can be learned and practiced through the practice of art criticism
3. Learn techniques for engaging students in art criticism What is art criticism? art criticism can be defined as the process of interpreting and finding value in a work of art What are the goals of engaging in art criticism? - respond more fully to an artwork
- defend one's opinion regarding it What goals should we have in practicing art criticism with out students? - to develop the use of language
- move students from closed minds to open
- encourage deferred judgment as opposed
to instantaneous preference
- acceptance that preference and judgment
can change over time
- expand understanding of the various purposes and
functions of art
- improve ability to defend one's opinion
- develop students' abilities to speculate, to imagine, and to
form plausible interpretations based on what has been
observed Stages of Art Criticism: 1. What do you see? (description)
2. How are things put together? (formal analysis)
3. What does the work express? (interpretation)
4. What do you think of the work and why (informed preference) Barrett's Principles for Interpreting Art: Artworks are always about something
Subject matter+Medium+Form+Context=Meaning
To interpret a work of art is to understand it in language
Feelings are guides to interpretation
Artworks attract multiple interpretations
Meanings of artworks are not limited to the artists' intentions
Interpretations are more or less reasonable, convincing, informative and enlightening
Interpretations imply a worldview
Good interpretations tell more about the artwork than about the interpreter
The objects of interpretation are artworks, not artists
All art is in part about the world in which it emerged
All art is in part about other art
Interpreting art is an endeavor that is both individual and communal
Some interpretations are better than others
Good interpretations invite us to see for ourselves and continue on our own Amor Sacro y Amor Profano
Oil on canvas
1514 Vocabulary: The practice of art criticism is where visual and language arts meet. With this there is a lot of vocabulary students can learn that will give them an increased ability to articulate their feelings and understanding of the artwork. See p. 206 What are some ideas of what a teacher could do to foster the ability to use are criticism? Artist of the week: At the beginning of each class you could take a few minutes to talk about a new artist. This could relate to the lesson, or you could challenge students to find a connection to the work. students could be involved in choosing the artists you talk about
example work and brief artist bio can be on display in a high traffic area, or a place where students might do a lot of waiting Thematic Displays: This is very much what it sounds like. Teacher can create displays on a given theme. With this, students can better articulate subtle differences in works of art. Statement Matching As you are showing the class a variety of work through reproductions, slides, or presentation, have them answer some multiple choice questions. Questions should reflect students level of complexity and ability. How would you describe this painting?
A. Funny
B. Scary
C. Strange
D. Boring The Red Model II
Rene Magritte
1937 This painting is an example of ________.
A. Abstract Expressionism
B. Surrealism
C. Minimalism
D. Dadaist Broadway Boogie-Woogie
Piet Mondrian
1943 What is the artist exaggerating in this painting?
A. Contour
B. Proportion
C. Assemblage
D. Contrast Portrait of Anna Zborowska
Amedeo Modigliani
1919 Identifying features of the artwork This activity could be done individually with a reproduction and a piece of tracing paper, or as a class with a projector and some large paper. Zagreb Free Zone
Lebbeus Woods
1991 Preference Assessment: The goal of these activities is not to try to change students minds into liking the same art as you, it is simply an attempt to get them to consider a wider variety than they may have previously been exposed to and to take note of those changes. How do you feel about this artwork?
A. I would like to have it in my room
B. I do not like or dislike this artwork
C. I would not keep this artwork around me
D. This artwork upsets me Picture wall This is simply a collection of images that can represent a variety of styles, tastes, artists, sources, and subject matter. Museum based activities: Having a museum to take students to can be a great resource. increased appreciation for artworks
seeing works grouped together in various ways
getting in depth information from museum experts
seeing work in a new context and environment
examine the difference between a reproduction and an original
chance to explore museum and see artworks they would not be exposed to otherwise What is the benefit of taking students to a museum? Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) Scavenger Hunt: Give students a large list of things to look for in the museum. Categories could be formalistic, interpretive, or preferential. You could make it competitive and assign points for more difficult finds. Of course you will want to stress museum behavior before taking on such a project. Look for the following. Write down the name of the artist, the artwork, the medium, and year for each category you find.
Portrait Painting
Video Installation
Artwork featuring animals
Artwork that you find confusing
Artwork that you don't like
Artwork that embodies rebellion
etc. etc. Guiding a Critique: Develop Class/Group Rules 1. Constructive Criticism please.
2. Comments are suggestions only, ultimately the artist makes her/his own decisions.
3. Compliment sandwiches are easier to digest.
4. Try to stay away from subjective terms such as "like" or "dislike." Phrases such as "The piece works because..." or "it would better convey its message if..." A great artist must have an ego big enough to survive the challenges and struggles of creating…

and yet must be humble enough to ask for – and accept – constructive criticism and advice on a regular basis.
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