Modern Art: "Paul C'zanne The Bather'' and ''Marcel Duchamp Man Seated by a Window''

| February 16, 2014

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I) Introductory paragraph including a short introduction of the works–formatted as: Artist, Title (date, medium; indication of the comp/con essay, why these works selected; and thesis statement, which hints at conclusion but does not fully explain it or ?give it away.?
II) Body: several paragraphs which include: over-all compositions briefly described (1 paragraph), careful formal analysis of each (1-2 paragraph per work); 1-2 paragraphs on points that are most interesting to compare (similar things); 1-2 paragraphs on most significant contrast (differing) elements; 1 paragraph explaining how each artist communicates mood gives basis for interpretation through these formal aspects–your interpretation; 2 paragraphs that discuss the artists within their artistic contexts (specific movements, general trends) that they are associated with at the time the work was made (must research this part); explanation of the choices that the artist made, the mood, meaning based on research.
III) Conclusion: brings threads of essay together. Reformulates thesis, now strong with a ?conclusion? based on your research.
Some things to consider when analyzing a work of art:
1. What is the subject matter or content of the work chosen? What genre is it?
2. What is the art historical context for this work of art (movement)?
3. What is the medium (or media)? How is the medium used? Describe the technique used.
4. How would you describe the surface texture of the object? Do you think the texture (surface treatment) is a significant part of the work?s overall design?
5. How are the color and tone (light/shade) used? Is color, shape(2-d), or form(3-d objects) more significant?
6. How is the composition arranged? What part or aspect of the work captures my attention first? How does the artist lead the eye around the work?
7. How does the artist use light? is there an identifiable light source (from wha direction??
8. How is line used? Are there horizontal, vertical, diagonal lines, curvilinear ones? (Remember, lines can be formed by the contours of things in the composition.)
9. How is (or are) the main figure(s) shown? ( Is the human figure the focal point of the work? How does the figure relate to the overall composition of the work? Describe the scale of the subject ? is it life sized, close to the picture plane? If more than one figure is used, how do they relate to each other?
10. Are there a lot of details in the work? Describe the type of detailing
11. What mood or feeling do you get from the work? Is it expressive in style? Hard to relate to? Do you think the artist wanted you to strongly react?
12. How is space treated? Does the artist convey depth (a recession into space using perspectival lines, shading, highlighting)? If not, or if somewhat, please describe. If a three-dimensional object (relief, sculpture in the round) how does the work relate to the space around it? What is the arrangement of mass and volume (solid and void) in the piece.
13. Is the work somewhat abstracted, representational or non-representational (totally abstract, just shapes, colors, etc.)?
14. What is the title of the work? Does that give any clues into the meaning of the work?
15. What artistic themes seem to be specifically focused on? Does it seem a new and unique, or pretty typical? Is it a conventional portrait, nude, still-life, landscape, etc., or very different take on one of those? What trends or sub-textual themes does the artist tap into. Some of these we have discussed so far include modernity (including urban settings, ?modern? behavior, references to mass production, machines), primitivism (expressed through types, places, and technique); synthesis of the arts (music, decorative arts, painting); identity (like femininity/masculinity, female sexuality, social class, race, etc.); modernity , etc. How specifically does the artist treat the theme/issue/trend?
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Signification and Art Interpretation
Six Keys to the Arts Final

Category: Art

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