Evaluating art
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Evaluating art

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How do we evaluate an art object? This slideshow lays out four theories of art: realism, expressionism, formalism, and post-modernism.

How do we evaluate an art object? This slideshow lays out four theories of art: realism, expressionism, formalism, and post-modernism.

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  • 1. Evaluating Art
  • 2. Encountering the object What do you see? Does it matter who made it?
  • 3. Encountering the objectHenry Moore (1898-1986) Artist unknownReclining Woman, 1927 The Sleeping Lady, ca. 3600 -Cast concrete 2500 B.C.British Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, Malta
  • 4. Four theories of art• Realism Art portrays reality as we see it• Expressionism Art shows feelings and communicates thoughts• Formalism Art is significant form• Post-modernism Art is critical of accepted power structures
  • 5. RealismRon Mueck George SegalBed, 2005 Blue Girl on Black Bed, 1976
  • 6. Realism• The goal of art is to accurately describe reality• Plato (428 – 348 BC) originated the theory• Art is an imitation of reality• Emphasis on craft and beauty
  • 7. RealismWhich one of these is more like reality?
  • 8. Expressionism Artist anonymousAlison Saar Power Figure (Nkisi NKondi:Untitled (from the Crossroads Mangaaka), mid to late 19thinstallation), 1989 century
  • 9. Expressionism• Art communicates subjective, personal, and cultural ideas• Fidelity to“reality” doesn’t reflect complexity of subjects• Art is a special way of knowing the world• Emphasis on feelings and individual experience
  • 10. Expressionism What is being expressed?How does the object communicate?
  • 11. FormalismLoretta Pettway Barnett NewmanLazy Gal – Bars, ca. 1965 Concord, 1949
  • 12. Formalism• “Art for art’s sake”• Art is important because it can find essence of form• Emphasis on abstraction, composition, and an object’s internal relationships• Art about essences
  • 13. Are these objects communicating the same thing? Sean Scully Raphael, 2004 Willie “Ma Willie” AbramsRoman Stripes variation, c. 1975
  • 14. Post-modernismDavid Hammons Mickalene ThomasAfrican-American Flag, 1990 Mama Bush: (Your love keeps lifting me) higher and higher, 2009
  • 15. Post-modernism• Art meant to question, challenge and provoke• Emphasis on social experience and not individual• Interest in creating new relationships in society• Art is pluralistic; it tells a truth, not the truth
  • 16. What questions are being asked in these?David Hammons Mickalene ThomasAfrican-American Flag, 1990 Mama Bush: (Your love keeps lifting me) higher and higher, 2009
  • 17. • What is your philosophy of art?• Is there a “best” way to approach artwork?• Do theories help to look at artwork?