Describing Artwork
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Describing Artwork

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    Describing Artwork Describing Artwork Presentation Transcript

    • DESCRIBING ARTWORK What Do I See?
    • DESCRIPTION DEFINED
      • Description
        • A data gathering process
        • One notices things about it and tell another person what you observe verbally or in writing
      • Questions you ask
        • What is here?
        • What am I looking at?
        • What do I know with certainty about this artwork?
      • What to notice
        • Notice everything
        • Some things that are obvious to you are not obvious to others
    • DESCRIPTION DEFINED
      • Descriptive information includes:
        • Subject matter-what the artwork is about or the object being portrayed
        • Medium-what is it made of?
        • Form-how is the subject matter presented?
        • Background Info
          • About the artist
          • Time period it was made in
          • Social Milieu it came from
        • Description is factual information
        • Closely describes what can be seen within the artwork
        • Also, can be from external sources like: the artist, books, press releases
    • DESCRIBING SUBJECT MATTER
      • Identifies persons, objects, places, or events in an artwork
        • Identify what you see and characterize it
          • Characterize-describe character or peculiarities of
      • Subject matter can be the same-as or different than the subject
        • Subject may be 4500 nude people
        • Subject matter is a call for freedom
    • SPENCER TUNICK (NUDE ADRIFT SERIES)
      • Subject is 4500 nude people
      • Subject matter is a call for freedom
    • RICHARD AVEDON (AMERICA WEST SERIES)
      • Subject Matter was described by an art critic as, “ranchers, housekeepers, rodeo riders, oil drillers, pig men, meatpackers, and an army of unemployed drifters.” One drifter is tall and enigmatic and the snake is wrapped coyly around the boy’s arms.
      • Another critic calls the subject matter “a human cyclorama” and describes the apparent dysfunctions of the people.
      • Another critic started by telling about his older work first and then talk about it as a catalog of theodd.
    • CINDY SHERMAN
      • Simple but hard to define subject matter
      • Subject matter could be cultural construction of femininity, characters in dramas, women represented in media, women as pictured by male producers
      • To simply say they are self portraits is to misidentify them
    • WHAT IS THE SUBJECT MATTER HERE?
      • Photos by: Larry Sultan
    • DESCRIBING FORM
      • Form is how the subject matter is presented
        • The shape of content
        • How it is composed, arranged, and constructed visually
      • How does it use formal elements?
        • Principles of Design
          • Dot, line, shape, light, value, color, texture, mass, space, volume, tonal range, contrast, camera or file format, point of view, angle and lens, frame and edge, depth of field, sharpness
      • How does that form affect the subject matter?
    • JAN GROOVER
      • A critic talks about the form of this photograph
      • Scale of the objects
      • Understanding of everyday objects is redefined
      • Arrangement of the objects
      • Controlled lighting
      • Reflections
      • Natural color
      • Organic objects placed with manmade; juxtaposition
    • DESCRIBE THE FORM IN THESE PHOTOS
      • Photos By: Andreas Magdanz
    • DESCRIBING MEDIUM
      • Medium refers to what an object is made of
      • The medium itself can inflect meaning
      • Usually medium describes
        • Photograph or painting or…
        • Kind of paint, photo, print…
        • Black and white or color
        • Size, shape…
        • Any process info
      • To fully describe medium include facts about the process as well as description of how these things effect the overall expression of the image
    • RASHID JOHNSON ( JIGGABOO HOLY FIELD NEGROES )
      • Subject matter is unclear
      • Medium
      • Photogram
      • Van Dyke
      • chicken bones
      • watermelon seeds
      • red beans and rice
      • The materials used have their own connotations
    • SANDY SKOGLUND ( WALKING ON EGGSHELLS)
      • Medium is Cibachrome or color photograph, but the installation has whole eggshells, cast paper bathroom fixtures, casts of snakes
    • DOUG AND MIKE STARN
      • Custom made macro lenses
      • Specialized printing method
      • softened the emulsion so that flakes of it washed away
      • Printed on soft paper
      • *The medium enhances the subject matter
    • DESCRIBING STYLE
      • Style-a resemblance among diverse art objects from an artist, movement, time period, or geographical location and is recognized by a characteristic handling of the subject matter or formal elements
        • Photographic styles include directorial photography and snapshot aesthetic
        • Painting styles include: traditional, impasto, different types of strokes, pointillism..
      • When describing style you should look at the artwork’s subjects, the use of the medium and the formal elements
    • Directorial Photography
      • Jeff Wall
    • Snapshot Aesthetic
      • Nan Goldin
    • Straight Photography
      • Ansel Adams
    • Compare and Contrast
      • Compare and contrast the artwork to other works by the same artist, to other artists’ works
      • This lets you see what the photo has in common with or differs from another work
    • Internal and External Sources
      • Getting information from the artist or some other source
      • You cannot observe from the photos that 12 of 4200 frames were chosen to be shown and who commissioned the work, and that is descriptive information
    • Description and Interpretation
      • You decide, as you describe an artwork, what is relevant in the artwork or what is worthy to describe and discuss
    • Description and Evaluation
      • Your judgments about an artwork are going to color how you describe it
    • Description and Evaluation
      • One critic described the work as representations of some of the most repressed and oppressed images of human behavior
      • Another critic described them as bizarre and sometimes extraordinary
      Joel-Peter Witkin