Emil Kosa Jr. ‘s NEAR MODESTO
The most important guideline to remember is to make sure the paper presents a specific argument or thesis statement in the opening, introductory paragraph. Use your visual evidence to develop your argument in the body of the paper.
Before writing the paper, you should perform a visual analysis of the art work you have chosen:
1. A visual analysis describes visual elements of the work of art (such as shading, composition, texture) that affect the interpretation of the work?s meaning. Listed below are some potential questions. However, you will not find all of these prompts useful for every work of art. And you should not organize each paragraph around one of these prompts. Rather you should look at the work with these prompts in mind, take notes, and then use this visual evidence to support your argument.
Motif or Subject Matter (What is the main subject of the picture? What is happening in the picture? What is your main impression of the subject?)
Material and Technique (How was this work made? What materials were used? Did the artist manipulate these materials for certain special effect?)
Colour and Light
Shape, Form, and Line
Space and Depth
Proportion and Scale
Composition and Balance
Story and Title
Mood and Expressivity
2. Consider the historical context of the work of art you have chosen
How does your interpretation of the work relate to what you know about the historical context in which the work was made? These Qs may help you develop your argument. You will not find all of these prompts useful for every work of art. You need not do extensive research on these topics. Simply consult your notes from class and the textbook.
Regional context (does the work seem to be saying something about the local region in which it was made? Does it reflect or challenge generally held views about the region?)
Social.. (does the work seem to be commenting on social issues related to class, gender, or race?)
Artist?s biography (Are there elements of the artist?s personal biography that relate to the work?s meaning?)
Artistic.. (have you seen this subject matter before? How is it similar or different to other images you know? Does the work reflect stylistic trends current in the art world at the time it was made?)
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