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Formal analysis tutorial 3 d


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  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • There are many ways to describe an image. In Western art history, there are 8 key terms that are major components to most visual analyses: Composition, Shape, Form, Space, Line, Light, Color, Texture. These terms are particularly useful in analyses of works that are representational and two dimensional.
  • Transcript

    • 1. A Short Guide to
      Formal Analysis
    • 2. Form
      Auguste Rodin, Burghers of Calais, 1889, Victoria Tower Gardens, London.
    • 3. Form
      Form is the totality of the physical and visual aspects of a work of art.
    • 4. Form
      Content is the meaning of a work of art.
    • 5. What is Formal Analysis?
      Formal Analysis
      A description relates what you see.
    • 6. What is Formal Analysis?
      Formal Analysis
      An analysis gives meaning or insight to that description.
    • 7. Relief Sculpture vs. Sculpture in the Round
    • 8. Representational vs. Non-Representational
      BaccioBandinelli, Laocoon and his Sons, 1520-1525.
      Donald Judd, Untitled, 1967
    • 9. Composition
      Elements of Design
    • 10. Balance
      Principles of Design
    • 11. Space
      Remember: the viewer and the sculpture inhabit the same 3-D Space
    • 12. Space
    • 13. Space
    • 14. Space
    • 15. Space
    • 16. Space
    • 17. Space
    • 18. Useful Questions
      What is the setting of the work? Urban? Natural? Gallery?
      Is the sculpture a relief or in the round? Can you walk around it?
      How large is the statue in relation to you? Do you have to look up? How close can you stand to the work and still survey it in its entirety? Can you see it in its entirety?
      How much space is there between the shapes? Can you walk among the shapes?
      Is the composition held together by a podium, plinth, or foundation?
    • 19. Shape
    • 20. Shape
    • 21. Shape
      Jacques Lipchitz, Figure, 1958-1961
    • 22. Shape
    • 23. Shape
      Jose Rivera, Construction, 1958.
    • 24. Useful Questions
      What types of shapes do you see? Organic? Geometric? Both?
      How do those shapes interact? Do they present a unified whole?
      How do these shapes interact with space? How do these shapes change as you move around the sculpture?
      Does the sculpture create shapes from its space? How do those shapes change as you move?
    • 25. Composition
    • 26. Open(atechtonic)
      Mark di Suvero, Aurora, 1993
      Governor, Late Period, Egypt, c. 664-525 BCE
    • 27. Open(atechtonic)
    • 28. Balance
    • 29. Light
    • 30. Natural Light
      Jonathan Borofsky. Dancers. 2003. Sculpture Park of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
      Lawrence Argent, I See What you Mean, 2005, Colorado Convention Center, Denver.
    • 31. Artificial Light
      Sandy Skoglund, Fox Games, 1990.
    • 32. Artificial Light
      Sandy Skoglund, Fox Games, 1990.
    • 33. Surface and Light
      Constantin Brancusi, The Sleeping Muse, 1909-1911, copper/brass.
      Constantin Brancusi, The Sleeping Muse, 1909-1911, marble.
    • 34. Useful Questions
      How is the sculpture lit? Sunlight? Gallery lights? Directly? Indirectly?
      How many light sources are there?
      Are there areas of high contrast? Dark shadows?
      Does the light change as you move around the sculpture?
      Does the surface/material reflect or absorb light?
    • 35. Light
    • 36. Line
    • 37. Line as Form
      Dale Chihuly, Fountain, 2004, Atlanta Botanical Garden.
    • 38. Material and Line
      Wooden Bowl
    • 39. Decoration and Line
      Bruce Gray, Wall Sculpture #32 (Samurai Spaceship), 2004
    • 40. Useful Questions
      Is line a strong element of this sculpture?
      Are there any forms that can be interpreted as lines? What are those lines like?
      Are there any lines caused by the material or manufacturing process? How do they interact with other elements and with the form as a whole?
      Are there lines implied by the sculpture’s detail? What are the qualities of these lines?
      Is the sculpture adorned with any graphic elements, such as paint?
    • 41. Line
    • 42. Mass
    • 43. Mass
      Alberto Giacometti, Man Pointing, 1901-1906 BCE
      Governor, Late Period, Egypt, c. 664-525 BCE
    • 44. Useful Questions
      Does the sculpture take up a lot of space?
      Are the forms mostly open or closed? Are there a lot of voids?
      Is the statue made of a material you know to be heavy?
      Do qualities such as color or line contribute to the sculpture’s ‘visual weight’?
    • 45. Mass
    • 46. Color
    • 47. Materiality and Color
      TilmanRiemenschneider, Madonna and Child, 1460-1531, carved linden wood.
      Luisa Roldan, Virgin and Child, late 17th century
    • 48. Useful Questions
      What colors do you see? Do they fit a color scheme? Are they light? Dark? Intense? Dull?
      What is the source of the sculpture’s color? Its material? Painting or Adornment?
      How does lighting contribute to the sculpture’s color or how that color is perceived?
      What mood does the color evoke? Does it evoke a mood?
    • 49. Color
    • 50. Texture
    • 51. Material and Texture
      Mel Kendrick, Untitled, 1982, oil on wood
      22" x 27" x 26"
      Mel Kendrick, Bronze/ Poplar Burnout, 1984, unique bronze, 16.5" x 7" x 5.5"
    • 52. Material and Texture
      NkisiNkondi Statue, Congo, 20th Century
      Alberto Giacometti, Man Pointing, 1901-1906 BCE
    • 53. Useful Questions
      What are the different textures you see? Rough? Smooth? Soft? Hard? Fragile? Strong?
      Are the textures the result of the nature of the materials used?
      Does the material mimic the texture of another material or surface?
      What is the overall impact of the textures you see?
    • 54. Texture
    • 55. Final Observations