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CR7.1: Respond to professional visual art works using analysis, personal interpretation, and research.

Art Critique!
Today we are going to learn how to thoughtfully examine an art
work for its qualities, to help us better understand the artwork.
Art criticism is analyzing and evaluating works of art. As art
critics, when we look at a painting, sculpture, or other form of
art, we don't just say we “like” or “dislike” the work. Rather, we
try to put ourselves in the position of a detective who must
investigate, for example: does the artwork represent a particular
era, movement, or style? What is notable? What makes this art
- 'art'? The same basic principles for looking at art can be
applied to watching a dance or drama performance, listening to
music, etc. So let’s get started!

There are 4 basic parts to an art critique. Let’s break them into steps:

Describe: Look at the obvious and first describe the facts…

What is the name of the artwork? Who is the artist?
What year was the art created? What is it made of (medium)?
What objects do you see? Where are they placed?
List and describe everything you see (imagine you are describing the art to someone who can not see
it)! REMEMBER: all of these are straight facts, with no opinions or judgements added yet!
Tell how the answers you gave in the description are related to each other. This step can be
confusing because it is similar to the first and aspects overlap. But try to figure out what the artist
has done to achieve certain effects.
What grabs your attention in the work?
What connections do you see between/among the things you listed during the description stage?
How is the visual artist using the elements /
principles of Art? What “qualities” do you see in Art Critique Vocab:
the work? Look for and describe: line (straight,
Foreground - the part of a scene that is
curved, wavy, messy, sloppy, etc.), shape (What
nearest to and in front of the viewer.
shapes do you see?), form (3-D?), colour (Are the
colours vivid and bright, or dull? What colours Middle ground - the middle distance;
between the foreground and the background.
are used – warm or cool? Complementary
colous?), space (use of space – where are things Background - the part of a scene that lies
in the image? Positive vs Negative space), behind the foreground and middle ground and
texture (rough, smooth, dripping paint, etc.), and appears most distant from the viewer.
value (dark vs light), etc.
What do you think the artist worked particularly hard at while he/she did this work?
Focus on the evidence you found in the arts expression. At this stage, we are looking at how the
artist is using and manipulating various elements, principles, images, or ideas. This is still not about
your personal interpretation.
Finally your own perspectives and experiences meet with the evidence found in the art! But still no
judgements here!
What do you think is the theme or subject of the work? How does the work make you feel?
What does it make you think of? What do you think is the artist’s view of the world?
What do you think the artist is trying to communicate to you as a viewer?
This is your opinion about what the art means. Remember to combine what you think and feel with
concrete evidence found in the work.

Evaluate: Make a judgment

Now you finally get to say whether you think this art is a success or failure in your opinion.
Does it convey the message the artist intended?
Were the composition, colour, and other
elements successful?
What do you think of the artwork?
Do you feel it is original or not original?
Do you enjoy the work?
Would you hang this on your wall at home?
Why or why not?