The main emphasis of this course is formal visual analysis (theory and practice):
Formal analysis is an important technique for organizing visual information. In other words, it is a strategy used to translate what you see into written words (and images). This strategy can be applied to any work of art, from any period in history, whether a photograph, sculpture, painting or cultural artifact.
This course in concerned with these main areas:
Art – is the formal expression of a conceived image or imagined conception in terms of a given medium — ex. drawing painting, sculpture; the image created on the picture plane, or flat surface that acts as a reference to establish the illusion of forms existing in three-dimensional space; as well as three and four-dimensional works existing in material and virtual spaces. [See orange part of above chart.]
Design – is the process of purposeful visual creation; the best possible visual expression of the essence of a work whether this be a message, a project, or product. [See yellow part of above chart.]
Culture – An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
We will begin by exploring the elements of art and design (conceptual, visual, relational, and practical).
Conceptual elements are points (dots), lines, planes, and volumes. As concepts they do not exist but seem to be present. These elements become real in two-dimensions (2D), on a picture plane. When represented materially they are three-dimensional (3D). When these planes are juxtaposed or placed in a time-based sequence they become four dimensional (4D).
Visual elements form the most prominent part of a design because they are what we can actually see. When the conceptual elements become visible they have shape, color, texture, etc.
Relational elements govern the placement and interrelationship of the visual elements in a design. These elements are unified through the merging of harmony and variety. A design can be analyzed based upon proportion, dominance, movement, etc.
Your in-class assignment is to practice mark making.
For homework: Identify one artist’s work and analyze it based on the use of mark and gesture and form-subject-content. Choose 1-2 examples from one artist on the following list, or suggest your own favorite artist/work(s):
- Many of the artists listed above have been featured on PBS Art:21. Feel free to visit the site to research your selection(s).
- Sign up for WordPress, Tumblr, or a blog service of your choice. You will be using this as your personal page to document your research and ideas. For example, with Tumblr you can post via your computer/laptop and even your mobile phone! This is called micro-blogging.
- Post 150 words about your selected artist and work for your homework assignment.