Art Criticism
Art criticism is the discussion of meaning in the physical characteristics and the contextual informa-
tion in a work of art. Each viewer brings his own life experiences, beliefs, and values with them as
they look at each work of art. Discussion will involve looking at the
artists' use of the elements of art and principles of design to create meaning
the social, political, religious, and historical context in which the work was made
the contexts in which today's viewers see the work (individually, according to their defini-
tions of art and personal experiences)
Personal interpretation, not consensus, is the goal. Viewers will learn to create valid arguments
for their interpretation by returning to the work of art itself and to its context. There is never
just one interpretation of a work of art.
Sample questions in art criticism:
What was the purpose of this work of art?
What's happening? (with a narrative image)
What techniques were used?
What culture produced it?
Where (geographical location) was it produced?
Where (geographical location) was it produced?
If there are images of humans present:
Who are they?
What are they doing?
Why are they doing it?
Why did the artist deem it important that they be pictured?
What is the title?
What was the artist's intention - what or whom did he want to reach by creating this?
Did someone commission the artist to create it??
Is it "famous"?
Is the artist "famous"?
What is the monetary value of the piece in question?
In what style is it rendered?
How does this object connect to me?
Have I experienced (touched, seen been part of , smelled, heard) anything like this?
Does it relate in any way to any of the other arts?