Art AppreciationArt Criticism: How and (Why) to Critique Art	<br />
Art Criticism<br />
“I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”<br />
Taste<br />
Taste<br />Taste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic and anthropological concept refers to  cultural patterns of choic...
What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />….senses, emotions, intellectual opinions, will, desires, culture, preferences,...
“I know what my VALUES are.”<br />My interests<br />My taste<br />My aesthetics<br />My style<br />My mood<br />My enthusi...
VALUES<br />Personal Values<br />Political Values<br />Cultural Values<br />Sub-Cultural Values<br />Class Values<br />Nat...
EGYPTIAN <br />Menkaure and Queen Kamerernebty
Old Kingdom, Ancient Egypt
4th Dynasty
2548-2530 BCE<br />
Reputations CHANGE<br />
Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Mathew. 1599-1600. <br />Famous and extremely influential while he lived, Caravaggio was al...
Impressionism started as a rebellious art movement by four students, was mocked and ridiculed 20 years before being reluct...
ÉdouardManet, Olympia, oil on canvas, 1863.<br />
Olympia stirred an enormous uproar when it was first exhibited at the 1865  Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work ...
BAD<br />GOOD<br />
“Degenerate Art”<br />
BAD<br />GOOD<br />
Membership in the Nazi Party did not protect Emil Nolde-whose woodcut The Prophet is shown at right-from being banned by H...
“Quality”<br />Is Relative<br />Is Subjective<br />Is hard to measure.<br />
How does society seem to measure the quality of art if quality is so SUBJECTIVE?<br />
MONEY<br />$$$$$$$$$<br />
$ 728.40<br />
$ 7,284.00<br />
$72,840.00<br />
$728,400.00<br />
$7,284,000.00<br />
Mark Rothko, "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" (1950)<br />
$72.84 million<br />
3 Types of Art Criticism<br />Formal Theories<br />Sociocultural Theories<br />Expressive Theories<br />
Formal Theories<br />Form over Content.<br />Style and Innovation are valued.<br />
Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
Raphael. The Holy Family, 1518.<br />
Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
Sociocultural Theories<br />Political, Cultural, Social Values<br />Historical Context is emphasized.<br />Art embodies or...
Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
The Church of the Frari, Venice.<br />
Tintoretto. St Roch in the Hospital. 1549, Oil on canvas.<br />The plague was a constant danger in the harbour city of Ven...
Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
Expressive Theories<br />Artist’s Biography is Primary.<br />Psychology and Intent are emphasized.<br />Humanistic and Ind...
Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
Titian. Self-Portrait, 1562.<br />
The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />Evaluation<br />
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Description<br />
Description<br />Visual Elements:<br />Line, Implied Line<br />Shape<br />Mass/Volume<br />Illusion of Space<br />Time/Mot...
Description<br />Question to ask:<br />What is the subject of the work?<br />What media is the work executed in?<br />What...
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Description <br />Initially the viewer is aware of the enormous scale of the painting, as the piece occupies a canvas 16 f...
Analysis<br />
Analysis<br />Design Principles:<br />Unity and Variety<br />Balance<br />Emphasis/Subordination<br />Directional Forces<b...
Analysis<br />Some questions to consider:<br />How do the visual elements contribute to a mood?<br />What is the internal ...
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Analysis<br />There is everywhere a feeling of movement and energy-compositionally the work is dominated by a strong diago...
Interpretation<br />
Interpretation<br />Generally:<br />How does the work relate to the world it was made (historical context)?<br />How does ...
Interpretation<br />Government/ Politics/ WarWhat was the political situation that the work emerged from ? Who were the le...
Interpretation<br />Artist and BiographyWhat sort of life did the artist lead ? What type of personality traits did they p...
Interpretation<br />Formal<br />Sociocultural<br />Expressive<br />
Eugene Delacroix<br />
Jacques-Louis David<br />
Interpretation<br />Sociocultural/ExpressiveThe 27 year old Géricault has taken as his subject a tragic and controversial ...
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Interpretation<br />Expressive/FormalThe formal language employed by Géricault is emblematic of the Romantic sensibilities...
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Evaluation<br />
Evaluation<br />Some questions to consider:<br />Why does this work have (or not have) “value”?<br /> What is it that make...
ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
Evaluation<br />The piece is significant, powerful, and daring. The work is beyond monetary valuation-it’s real significan...
Critical Thinking<br />There are many positive and useful uses of critical thinking:<br />Formulating a workable solution ...
Critical Thinking<br />Critical thinking, in its broadest sense can be described as purposeful reflective judgment concern...
The Feldman Method<br />
The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />
The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />
The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />
The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />Evaluation<br />
Art Criticism AH2
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Art Criticism AH2

  1. 1. Art AppreciationArt Criticism: How and (Why) to Critique Art <br />
  2. 2. Art Criticism<br />
  3. 3. “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”<br />
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Taste<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Taste<br />Taste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic and anthropological concept refers to cultural patterns of choice and preference regarding aesthetic judgments.<br />
  17. 17. What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
  18. 18. What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
  19. 19. What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
  20. 20. What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />
  21. 21. What determines aesthetic judgements?<br />….senses, emotions, intellectual opinions, will, desires, culture, preferences, values, subconscious behavior, conscious decision, training, instinct, sociological institutions, or some complex combination of these, depending on exactly which theory one employs.<br />
  22. 22. “I know what my VALUES are.”<br />My interests<br />My taste<br />My aesthetics<br />My style<br />My mood<br />My enthusiasim<br />
  23. 23. VALUES<br />Personal Values<br />Political Values<br />Cultural Values<br />Sub-Cultural Values<br />Class Values<br />National Values<br />Religious Values<br />Spiritual Values<br />
  24. 24. EGYPTIAN <br />Menkaure and Queen Kamerernebty
Old Kingdom, Ancient Egypt
4th Dynasty
2548-2530 BCE<br />
  25. 25. Reputations CHANGE<br />
  26. 26. Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Mathew. 1599-1600. <br />Famous and extremely influential while he lived, Caravaggio was almost entirely forgotten in the centuries after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered.<br />
  27. 27. Impressionism started as a rebellious art movement by four students, was mocked and ridiculed 20 years before being reluctantly accepted…and yet today it is considered one of the most important art movements in history.<br />
  28. 28. ÉdouardManet, Olympia, oil on canvas, 1863.<br />
  29. 29. Olympia stirred an enormous uproar when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work as "immoral" and "vulgar." One journalist later recalled, "If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration.”<br /> However, the work had proponents as well. Emile Zola quickly proclaimed it Manet's "masterpiece" and added, "When other artists correct nature by painting Venus they lie. Manet asked himself why he should lie. Why not tell the truth?"<br />
  30. 30. BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  31. 31. “Degenerate Art”<br />
  32. 32. BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  33. 33. Membership in the Nazi Party did not protect Emil Nolde-whose woodcut The Prophet is shown at right-from being banned by Hitler. 1052 of Nolde’s paintings were removed from German museums, more than any other artist. <br />
  34. 34. “Quality”<br />Is Relative<br />Is Subjective<br />Is hard to measure.<br />
  35. 35. How does society seem to measure the quality of art if quality is so SUBJECTIVE?<br />
  36. 36. MONEY<br />$$$$$$$$$<br />
  37. 37. $ 728.40<br />
  38. 38. $ 7,284.00<br />
  39. 39. $72,840.00<br />
  40. 40. $728,400.00<br />
  41. 41. $7,284,000.00<br />
  42. 42. Mark Rothko, "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" (1950)<br />
  43. 43. $72.84 million<br />
  44. 44. 3 Types of Art Criticism<br />Formal Theories<br />Sociocultural Theories<br />Expressive Theories<br />
  45. 45. Formal Theories<br />Form over Content.<br />Style and Innovation are valued.<br />
  46. 46. Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
  47. 47.
  48. 48. Raphael. The Holy Family, 1518.<br />
  49. 49. Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
  50. 50. Sociocultural Theories<br />Political, Cultural, Social Values<br />Historical Context is emphasized.<br />Art embodies or resists dominant cultural attitudes and themes.<br />
  51. 51. Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
  52. 52. The Church of the Frari, Venice.<br />
  53. 53. Tintoretto. St Roch in the Hospital. 1549, Oil on canvas.<br />The plague was a constant danger in the harbour city of Venice, and the state sought to counter it by taking careful precautionary measures, for instance the building of the LazzarettoNuovo as a quarantine hospital around 1470. Tintoretto's painting could equally well show the plague hospital of the LazzarettoVecchio, also built on an island in the lagoon as early as 1423. The young women shown here entering from the sides of the picture to wash the sick, bind up their sores, and feed them, are probably unemployed prostitutes, who were pressed into service in the LazzarettoVecchio in times of plague.<br />
  54. 54. Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
  55. 55. Expressive Theories<br />Artist’s Biography is Primary.<br />Psychology and Intent are emphasized.<br />Humanistic and Individualistic.<br />
  56. 56. Titian. Pietà, 1576.<br />Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.<br />
  57. 57. Titian. Self-Portrait, 1562.<br />
  58. 58.
  59. 59. The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />Evaluation<br />
  60. 60. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  61. 61. Description<br />
  62. 62. Description<br />Visual Elements:<br />Line, Implied Line<br />Shape<br />Mass/Volume<br />Illusion of Space<br />Time/Motion<br />Color Scheme<br />Texture<br />
  63. 63. Description<br />Question to ask:<br />What is the subject of the work?<br />What media is the work executed in?<br />What is the size/scale ?<br />
  64. 64. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  65. 65. Description <br />Initially the viewer is aware of the enormous scale of the painting, as the piece occupies a canvas 16 feet by 24 feet in totality, which has the effect of dwarfing the observer and adding a heroic or larger than life presence to the characters. Second, we are immediately aware of the moody darkness of the color scheme, as human forms emerge from an inky blackness into the golden light of a setting sun. The sombre colors and pallid flesh tones nevertheless deprive the work of any vibrant color, and so the mood remains ominous overall. The raft of survivors is surrounded on all sides by the swelling surge of the dangerous sea and the brooding clouds that hang low over the horizon; there is very little middle ground as the viewer focus alternately on the foreground action and the distant ship on the horizon line.<br />
  66. 66. Analysis<br />
  67. 67. Analysis<br />Design Principles:<br />Unity and Variety<br />Balance<br />Emphasis/Subordination<br />Directional Forces<br />Contrast<br />Repetition and Rhythm<br />Scale and Proportion<br />
  68. 68. Analysis<br />Some questions to consider:<br />How do the visual elements contribute to a mood?<br />What is the internal relationship between the objects or subjects depicted?<br />How does the form begin to communicate the content?<br />
  69. 69. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  70. 70. Analysis<br />There is everywhere a feeling of movement and energy-compositionally the work is dominated by a strong diagonal directional force that thrusts upward from the lower left hand corner to the upper-right, This directional energy is counter-balanced by the weight of the full sail to the left that fills with the angry air. The viewer seems to focus alternately on the sad despondent man in the lower left and the figure who waves a cloth in the upper right. As observers, we seem to assume a position floating in the air, as a circling bird might view this grim tableau. The overall unity of the piece is powerful, the consistency of light and the energetic figural forms create a visual tension that nevertheless remains harmonious despite the variety and repetition of nude/semi-nude figures in various states of distress.<br />
  71. 71. Interpretation<br />
  72. 72. Interpretation<br />Generally:<br />How does the work relate to the world it was made (historical context)?<br />How does the work relate to today’s world?<br />What does the piece remind you of, how does it make you feel?<br />What is the MEANING of the piece? <br />
  73. 73. Interpretation<br />Government/ Politics/ WarWhat was the political situation that the work emerged from ? Who were the leaders at the time, and what sort of social structure was dominant ? Monarchy, Republic, etc? Was there a major conflict or war at the time ?PhilosophyWhat was the prevailing intellectual climate, major thinkers, scientists, etc ? Was there even an intellectual climate at all? What was the state of science and how did powerful was "skepticism" for forming or influencing beliefs ? How did the philosophy of the time conflict with or support the spiritual beliefs of the people ?ReligionWhat was the dominant spiritual tradition and what were its major tenets? How was religious practice manifest in people's daily lives and were there alternatives vying for control ?<br />
  74. 74. Interpretation<br />Artist and BiographyWhat sort of life did the artist lead ? What type of personality traits did they possess and how did the arc of their career unfold ? Who were the other competitors, comrades that they worked alongside of ?Geography/EnvironmentalWhat was the environmental reality that people faced? Was the climate cold, warm, prosperous, harsh, etc Cultural ValuesHow powerful were the institutions of marriage, family, love, citizenship, morality, etc.. What did the culture value or devalue at this given moment ?<br />
  75. 75. Interpretation<br />Formal<br />Sociocultural<br />Expressive<br />
  76. 76. Eugene Delacroix<br />
  77. 77. Jacques-Louis David<br />
  78. 78.
  79. 79. Interpretation<br />Sociocultural/ExpressiveThe 27 year old Géricault has taken as his subject a tragic and controversial naval accident of 1816 which left a French frigate sunk off the coast of Africa and the nation gripped with scandal. At the time, the French Monarchy had been recently restored, and the obvious inexperience of the ship's Captain served to re-enforce the public anger and resentment that had been brewing in re-action to the return of the remnants of the French aristocracy who had been banished during the Revolution. Because of the extreme conditions endured by the survivors who were able to find a spot on this hastily prepared raft, the story evokes deep sympathy for the epic struggle of human survival in the face of overwhelming odds. It is this stark realism and visceral connection to the privations and horror of constant death, madness, cannibalism, and hopelessness that connect the work to the larger Romantic sensibility that was much evident in painting at the time. Contemporaries of Géricault, like Eugene Delacroix, also favored such titanic and sublime subject matter, rife with frantic human drama and an acknowledgement of the power of nature. This focus on "natural" and irrational components of human behavior was of further interest to writers like Jean Jacques Rousseau who’s political theories had actually influenced the French Revolution and the development of modern political thought. Although the piece was initially met with lukewarm reception in France, it was exhibited profitably in Britain and is hung today in the Louvre as a great exemplar of Romantic sensibilities.<br />
  80. 80. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  81. 81. Interpretation<br />Expressive/FormalThe formal language employed by Géricault is emblematic of the Romantic sensibilities and historical context that surround this painting. It was clearly Géricault's intent to evoke an upsurge of emotion in the viewer, and his handling of light and shadow as well as the swelling and energetic forces of the waves and wind contribute to this purpose. The grand scale of the work demonstrates that it was meant for a large public audience that would hopefully discuss not only their empathic reactions to the subject, but the questionable legitimacy of the political order. By creating a visual ascendency from despair to hope, evident in the diagonal movement from lower left to upper-right, Géricault formally demonstrates the emotional/intellectual content and deeper implications that the painting proposes. The painting asks profound questions about the nature of survival, barbarism, and the miracle of human resilience in the face of the awesome and unforgiving power of nature, as well as the inner-struggle for meaning and purpose we all face. Only through his virtuosic handling of compositional space, light, and dramatic theatrical effects is the full force and meaning of this work made real.<br />
  82. 82. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  83. 83. Evaluation<br />
  84. 84. Evaluation<br />Some questions to consider:<br />Why does this work have (or not have) “value”?<br /> What is it that makes the work worth considering among others? What is valuable to you in a work of art? <br />Are there things that others may value that you do not?<br />Does the piece communicate an idea or feeling well, or do you remain unmoved?<br />If it fails or succeeds in your estimation, can you point to specific remarks you noticed earlier in our criticism to emphasize your evaluation?<br />
  85. 85. ThéodoreGéricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818–1819 <br />
  86. 86. Evaluation<br />The piece is significant, powerful, and daring. The work is beyond monetary valuation-it’s real significance is its ability to weave historical drama with monumental human expression and to invoke a powerful response from viewers regardless of their knowledge of history. Géricault’s genius and skill lie in his ability to synthesis a new form of visionary art in which contemporary events become timeless testaments to the human struggle as it has, and will always exist.<br />
  87. 87. Critical Thinking<br />There are many positive and useful uses of critical thinking:<br />Formulating a workable solution to a complex personal problem. <br />Deliberating as a group about what course of action to take.<br />Analyzing the assumptions and the quality of the methods used in any assessment or judgment of value.<br />
  88. 88. Critical Thinking<br />Critical thinking, in its broadest sense can be described as purposeful reflective judgment concerning what to believe or what to do.<br />Critical thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses conclusions.<br />
  89. 89. The Feldman Method<br />
  90. 90. The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />
  91. 91. The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />
  92. 92. The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />
  93. 93. The Feldman Method<br />Description<br />Analysis<br />Interpretation<br />Evaluation<br />

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