FAH102 Week 2.docx

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15 Apr 2012
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Week 2 Visual Analysis
Vernon Hyde Minor Chapter 10 (written in notebook)
Hudson and Noonan-Morrissey Chapter 1 [pg. 6-11 & 17-28] and Chapter 2
o Chapter 1: Types of Writing About Art
Essay: may be written in any of the four modes of discourse narration,
description, exposition, or argument
Critical essays: often used with regard to an essay that offers and opinion. Such
essays are written in either the expository or argumentative mode of discourse
the purpose is to critique, to criticize is to denounce or find fault; to critique is
to exercise careful judgment, including scholarly interpretation
Comparative essay: is one that compares or contrasts more than one artwork or
artist. May be written in the descriptive, expository, or argumentative mode of
discourse; a descriptive comparison would discuss the artworks’ similarities
and/or difference without offering an opinion or interpretation; an expository
comparison would use the artworks’ similarities and/or differences to support
an inference; an argumentative comparison would use the artworks’ similarities
and/or differences to support an opinion for which there is considerable
opposition
The formal analysis: to analyze means to take a thing apart to discover how the
pieces work together to create a whole, to discuss the ways in which the
artwork’s subject matter, formal elements, principles of design, and medium
work together to create an overall impression
The exhibition review: the purpose of the review is to evaluate a collection of
art at a museum or gallery, an activity engaged in by an art critic
Research paper: makes conscious use of sources, it documents sources and
includes an alphabetical list of sources in the form of a bibliography or works
cited page. It may be written in a descriptive, expository, or argumentative
mode of discourse; a descriptive would present that information objectively; an
expository would use information gleaned from sources to support an
inference; an argumentative would use information gleaned from sources to
support an argument
o Other Types of Writing About Art
The artist statement: it describes who you are as an artist and what your art is
about
Museum and gallery labels: these labels inform the viewers about the artwork,
providing specifics such as the title, artist’s name, artist’s dates, and the date
the work was done. Often helpful to include information about subject matter,
specific techniques, the composition, or other idiosyncratic points to increase
the viewers’ understanding of the work
Catalogue entries: principles of design and the elements of style; the work’s
history including its various owners; information about the subject matter;
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special circumstances under which the work was done; whether the work is part
of a series; influences on the artist and this particular work; whether there were
other versions of the work; whether photographs were used; bits of
correspondence by the artist, other artists, or literary figures regarding the work
o Chapter 2: The Language of Art
Subject matter: refers to the identifiable objects or ideas represented in the
work
The meaning or content is not always completely evident from looking
at the work; additional research is sometimes required
Noticing the title of the work can also enlighten us about the subject
matter
Iconography means “image or symbol within”, this symbolism can be
overt (readily understood by most people) or hidden
Representational art portrays things perceived or represented in the
visible world in recognizable form (thus, a painting of a dog would look
like a dog that we have seen or would expect to see in the natural
world)
Abstract art deals with extracting or “abstracting” the essence of a thing
or image. The artist makes forms recognizable as something from the
natural world, although somewhat simplified or distorted
Nonrepresentational art goes one step further than pure abstract art,
makes no reference at all to the natural world of images all
identifiable subject matter has been eliminated
Genre refers to realistic paintings or representations of everyday life
o Formal Elements
The formal elements, also referred to as the visual elements, constitute the
basic ingredients at the artist’s disposal
Line: is a mark made by a moving point, can create patterns, move our eyes
through the composition, or describe or express emotions
Colour: must consider hue (which is the name of the colour, such as red or
green), also note primary, secondary, and complimentary colours and its
intensity and saturation
Value: has to do with the varying degrees of light and dark. When there is a
strong contrast of light and dark, the artist is employing a device called
chiaroscuro
Texture: refers to the tactile aspect (actual texture) or to the illusion of the
tactile aspect (implied texture)
Shape: refers to an area that stands out from the space next to or around it
because of line, colour, value, or texture. Actual shapes and implied shapes
Space: concerned with either a two-dimensional or three-dimensional aspect of
a work. Two dimensional medium space is concerned with the appearance of
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