Presentation on theme: "Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment"— Presentation transcript:
1 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment Chapter 2 ArtTalk Textbook
2 Art CriticismArt criticism is an organized system for studying a work of art.Criteria (standards of judgment) are used to evaluate a work of art.Aesthetics are the philosophy or study of the nature of beauty and art.The aesthetic experience is your personal interaction with a work of art.Leo Twiggs, Blue Wall, Batik and paint on cotton mounted on board - 22 x 29 3/8 inches (frame) Collection of the artist
3 Why Study Art Criticism? Art criticism at first glance is a difficult and nerve-wracking process. It seems as though people are making up weird things about a work of art. Common thoughts during the process are, “I don’t see that”, “What is she talking about?”, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing”. In art criticism, there is not a “correct” answer. After you learn to critique (not criticize) art, you will find that art criticism is about looking at art and evaluating what you think about it. Art will have different meanings to each of us. There is no right answer!Mary Cassatt, Self-portrait. c Gouache on paper /2 x 27 1/2 in. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
4 Art CriticismArt criticism is like playing detective. You assume the artist has created a message for you to uncover, and it’s your job to discover that message.In order to “discover” the message, there are four steps for you to follow in order:DescriptionAnalysisInterpretationJudgmentHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge. 1892/ Oil on canvas x 141 cm (48 7/16 x 55 1/2 in.). The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection
5 Step 1 - DescriptionThis step is meant to slow your pace of looking at the art. Instead of giving it a quick glance and saying, “I like it” or “I don’t like it”, this step slows you down to look at the art and really see it.In this step, write the credit line and describe what you physically see in the work of art.Don’t use emotional words at all in describing the work of art. Instead of “I see a sad woman”, you would say “I see a woman”.Don’t make assumptions in your description. Instead of “I see a mother and child”, you would say “I see a woman and a child”Mary Cassatt, Baby Reaching for an Apple Oil on canvas x 65.4 cm (39 ½ x 25 ¼ in). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.
6 Step 2 - AnalysisIn step 2, you discover how the work is organized – how are the elements of art and the principles of design used in this art work?How has the artist used line, shape and form, space, color, value, and texture in his art?How has the artist created and/or used rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity in her art?Another way to look at this step is to describe how the artist has directed your eye to the most important part, the next item in importance, and so on, through the use of the elements and principles.Sir Jacob Epstein, The Visitation Bronze x 53.1 x 49.9 cm (65 1/3 x 20 ¼ x 18 ¼ in). Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsoinian Inatitution, Washington, D.C.
7 Step 3 - InterpretationWhat is the artist saying to me? This is the step where you explain or tell the meaning or mood of the work.Interpretation is when you use emotional words like sad, happy, glad, carefree, calm, relaxed, etc.Interpretation is the most difficult step because this is what the art means to you, and that may be very different from what others might think.Your interpretation is going to be based on your life experiences, so it will be different.Your interpretation is still based on what you observed in the description and analysis steps.Rene Magritte, Golconde Oil on canvas. 81 × 100 cm, 31.9 × in. The Menil Collection, Houston, TX.
8 Step 4 - Judgment You determine the degree of artistic merit. You decide whether you like it or not.Is this a successful work of art?In judging a work of art, you need to look at your reaction to it. Sometimes you can dislike a work of art and still think it is successful. Artists sometimes deliberately try to evoke a negative reaction.Again, there is no right answer!Pablo Picasso, Guernica Oil on canvas × 776 cm, × in. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid.
10 Aesthetic Theories & Qualities of Art All three theories of aesthetics, Imitationalism, Formalism, and Emotionalism can be used to judge art. You may like a work because it looks so realistic. You may also appreciate it because it is so perfectly in balance using informal balance. And, you may like it because you have positive feelings about the subject matter or you may like the message the artist is conveying.Paul Strand, White Fence Photograph.Chuck Close, Mark Acrylic on canvas.Edward Munch, The Dead Mother Oil on canvas /8 x 35 3/8 in. Kunsthalle, Bremen.
11 Art Criticism of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth Description (What do you see?)first look at the credit line. Record the information from the credit line.List everything you physically see, including small details.Possible details to examine – the woman’s dress (is it old or new, what color), her hair, her legs, arms, feet, hands (anything unusual?), the buildings, the road, the sky (what color is it? How much of image is ground, how much is sky?)Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World Tempera on gessoed panel /4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x cm).
12 Art Criticism of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth Analysis (How is the work arranged?)Where does your eye go first in the painting? How does the artist get you to look at this first? (use of line, color, value, shape, emphasis, rhythm, etc)How does the artist get you to look at different parts of the painting and in what order?Use the elements of art and the principles of design to describe how the artist has directed your viewing of his or her artwork.Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World Tempera on gessoed panel /4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x cm).
13 Art Criticism of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth Interpretation (What is the artist saying?)Your interpretation is based on your life experiences and outlook, so it will not be the same as someone else’s interpretation.The slant of the roof of the largest building takes your eye straight to the woman. Why did the artist do this?Why is the ground so much bigger than the sky area?Why did the artist separate the blades of grass?Why are the woman’s legs not carrying any weight?What is the emotional mood of this work?Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World Tempera on gessoed panel /4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x cm).
14 Art Criticism of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth Judgment (Is this a successful work of art? Why or why not?)Look at it from an aesthetic theory viewpoint.Would this be a successful artwork to an Imitationalist?Would this be a successful artwork to a Formalist?Would this be a successful artwork to an Emotionalist?Is this a successful artwork to you? Why or why not? How did you react to it? What was your response to it?Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World Tempera on gessoed panel /4 x 47 3/4" (81.9 x cm).
15 Meet the Artist Louise Nevelson Louise Nevelson was born in Kiev, Ukraine in In 1920, she moved to New York City and took up the study of art in 1929.Nevelson was inspired by Cubism, pre-Columbian art, and the creative drive within her.Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedral Painted wood. Smithsonian American Art Museum
16 Meet the Artist Louise Nevelson Nevelson started out experimenting with all art media. Then she started working three-dimensionally putting things together – called assemblage, or assembled sculpture.Although she is best known for her “boxes”, Nevelson also did some massive outdoor sculptures.Louise Nevelson died as an American citizen in 1988.Louise Nevelson, Luminous Zag: Night, Painted wood (105 boxes), 120 x 193 x 10 3/4 inches, overall. Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumLouise Nevelson, City on the High Mountain Steel painted black. 20' 6" x 23' x 13' 6"
17 Objective Assessment – Reviewing Art Facts Write the following questions and then the answer. Standards of judgment.An organized system for studying a work of art.The philosophy or study of the nature of beauty and art.Personal interaction with a work of art.The art criticism step in which you make a list of all the things you see in a work.The art criticism step in which you discover how the work is organized.The art criticism step in which you explain or tell the meaning or mood of the work.
18 Objective Assessment – Reviewing Art Facts Write the following questions and then the answer. The art criticism step in which you determine the degree of artistic merit of the work.The realistic qualities that appear in the subject of the work.The qualities that indicate how well the work is organized.The qualities that communicate ideas and moods.The aesthetic theory that focuses on realistic presentation.The aesthetic theory that places emphasis on the design qualities.The aesthetic theory that requires a communication of feelings, moods, or ideas.
19 Objective Assessment – Reviewing Art Facts Write the following questions and then the answer. What will learning the steps of art criticism help you develop?Name the four steps of art criticism in the order in which they must be followed.In which step would you list the size of the work and the medium used?Name and describe the three aesthetic theories.If the organization of an artwork is most important to an art critic, which aesthetic theory would he or she hold?When criticizing functional objects, what must you consider during interpretation besides beauty?