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The Feldman Method of Art Criticism

Describe Analyze Interpret Judge

Step 1: Description
Describe what you see in the art work. Describe exactly what you see, in enough detail that your audience could visualize the artwork from your words. Do not use judgments or opinions.

Here are a few things to consider when writing your DESCRIPTION:

Size Shape Texture Color Angles Perspective Light Source Media Form Space Artist, Title, Date

Step 2: Analysis
Examine the relationships between the Elements of Art by citing the Principles of Design

The Principles of Design Contrast Repetition Unity Movement Balance Emphasis

Balance Balance is the equilibrium of various elements in the work of art.

James McNeill Whistler,Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother, 1871

Emphasis Emphasis is given to a center of interest, which might be the largest, brightest, or lightest subject.

Francisco de Goya, The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, 1814.

Repetition Repetition is the use of line, color, or a motif in more than one place in the composition

Rene Magritte, Golconde, 1953

Movement Movement can be the illusion of motion in the artwork, or the path the viewer takes starting with the emphasis.

Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1910

Archibald Motley, Blues, 1929

Contrast Contrast shows the difference between the Elements of Art (Line, Color, Shape, Value, Form, Space and Texture)

Andy Goldsworthy, Dandelion Flowers, 1985

Unity is the harmony between all of the visual elements in a composition.

Questions to ask yourself when completing an ANALYSIS:

How does the artist visually organize the composition? What is in the foreground, middleground, background? How has the picture been arranged? What colors are used and how have they been arranged? What shapes are there and how have they been arranged? Are there any leading lines and if so, where is your eye lead, Is there any use of contrast? If so where? Is there any use of pattern? If so where? Is there a sense of space or perspective? Are there any special techniques employed by the artist?

Pablo Picasso, The Old Guitarist, 1903

Faith Ringgold, The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles, 1930

Diego Rivera, The Flower Vendor, 1940s?

Step 3: Interpretation
What do you believe was the goal of the artist? What message is he/she trying to make? What was the artists intention? Is there a mood or feeling being conveyed? Use research, Description and Analysis to support your opinions.

Pablo Picasso, The Tragedy, 1903

Rene Magritte, The Lovers, 1928

Step 4: Judgment
What Aesthetic Classification does the artwork illustrate? Support your decision with Description, Analysis and Interpretation.

Perceptual Rendered from Direct Observation


Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Apples, 1890

Expressive Capturing a mood or feeling, sharing a story or idea


Kathe Kollwitz, Poverty, 1893-4

Focus is on the organization of the Elements of Art


Piet Mondrian, Composition with red, yellow, black, gray and blue, 1921

I think the art work is (Perceptual, Expressive or Formal) because. Include the definition for your Aesthetic Classification in your explanation. Justify your opinion with what you see. I think the work was/was not successful because Justify your opinion based on what you think the artists goals were.

Marc Chagall The Birthday 1915

Medium:Oil on cardboard, Dimensions:31 3/4 x 39

Marc Chagall
Birth name Moishe Shagal Born 6 July 1887 (N.S.) Liozna, near Vitebsk, Russian Empire (present-day Belarus) Died 28 March 1985 (aged 97) Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France Spouse Bella Rosenfeld (1915-1944, the year of her death) Nationality Russian, later French[1] Field Painting, stained glass Movement Cubism, Expressionism

Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality.