“Critique and Formal Analysis”
What is a critique?
A critique is an oral or written discussion strategy used to analyze, describe, and interpret works of art. Critiques help artists hone their persuasive oral and writing, information-gathering, and justification skills. To formally critique a work of art, you must be able to critically analyze the work by forming and describing your observations.
FORMAL CRITIQUE QUESTIONS
1. DESCRIPTION (Paragraph #1)
– Look at this painting for a moment. What observations can you make about it? How would you describe this painting to a person who could not see it?
– Describe the work without using value words such as “beautiful” or “ugly”:
! What is the title and who is (are) the artist(s)?
! Describe the elements of the work (i.e., line, color, shape, volume/form,
o Be specific in describing WHERE you see the elements existing.
” For example, “There are clear directional lines existing on the lower left portion of the print, that lead the viewer’s eye to the main subject”.
! Describe the technical qualities of the work (i.e., techniques, tools, materials).
! Describe the subject matter. What is it all about? Are there recognizable images? If so, what can objects do you see?
! Describe the style of the work (realistic, fantastic, expressive, formal, nonobjective, abstract)
2. ANALYSIS (Paragraph #2)
Describe how the work is organized as a complete composition:
! How is the work constructed or planned (i.e., movements, lines)?
! Identify some of the similarities throughout the work (i.e., repetition of
lines, shapes, colors etc).
! What do you think is the most important part of this picture?
! Identify some of the points of emphasis in the work (i.e., figure,
! If the work has subjects or objects, what are the relationships between or
! What do you think this work is about? How did you come up that idea?
3. INTERPRETATION (Paragraph #3)
Describe how the work makes you think or feel:
! Describe the expressive qualities you find in the work. What expressive language would you use to describe the qualities (i.e., quiet, loud, funny, romantic, tragic)?
! Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced (i.e., analogy or metaphor)?
! How does the work relate to other ideas or events in the world and/or in your other studies?
! What do you think is going on in this picture? How did you arrive at that idea?
4. JUDGEMENT OR EVALUATION (Paragraph #4)
Present your opinion of the work’s success or failure:
! What qualities of the work make you feel it is a success or failure?
! Compare it with similar works that you think are good or bad.
! What criteria can you list to help others judge this work?
! How original is the work? Why do you feel this work is original or not
! Why do you think other people should see this work of art? –
! What do you think is worth remembering about this painting?
Choose one drawing OR painting OR print image from the textbook from the online text.
Answer ALL of the following questions from formal critique analysis in complete, detailed sentences.
Answers must be typed, Times New Roman, size 12 font, 1.5 spaced.
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