Work of Art Paper

First: Select a work of art

The Midterm Paper is worth 100 points. It will consist of a 500 word written description and analysis of a work of art using terminology from Chapters 2-5.

For this assignment, you are to discuss the form, content, and subject matter of a work of art chosen from the list provided. This is an exercise in recognizing visual elements and principles of design in works of art and demonstrating an understanding of how they relate to each other to create meaning. This paper is about looking and seeing. This is not a research paper; you will not need to do additional research. Please follow the outline provided below.

Select one of the following listed works of art:

  • Circle of Diego Quips Tito. The Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory. Late 17th century. Fig. 1.22, pg. 17.
  • Henri Matisse. Large Reclining Nude. 1935. Fig. 4.24, pg. 85.
  • Faith Ringgold. Tar Beach. 1988. Fig. 13.18, pg. 219.
  • Henry Ossawa Tanner. The Banjo Lesson. 1893. Fig. 21.15, pg. 373
  • Andy Warhol. Marilyn Diptych. 1962. Fig. 24.23, pg. 447.

Format

Describe the use of each visual element and principle of design in the order they are listed in the outline. You can simply list each term and address how it is used in the painting. If you write in paragraph form be sure to identify each term clearly. Any term not addressed will receive 0 points. Provide specific examples. For example, don’t just say “there are lines,” give specific examples of how line is used in the piece you’ve selected.

Papers should be 500 words minimum (not including images), double-spaced, 10 or 12 point, with 1″ margins. The preferred format is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). If these formats are not available, other acceptable formats are ASCII (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Open Office (.odt), and PDF. Make sure you proofread your papers for incorrect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors.

The Midterm Paper is due at 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.

Midterm Paper Outline

Introduction (First Paragraph)

In the first paragraph, called the introduction, you will include:

  • An identification of the work of art you selected: The name of the artist, title (which is underlined or italicized every time you use the title in your paper), date, and medium.
  • Your initial interpretation of the subject based on your initial observations.

Description

Describe how each of the following is used in the piece you selected.

Visual Elements:

  1. Line: what types of lines do you see in the piece? Provide examples.
  2. Shape: what types of shapes do you see? Provide examples.
  3. Mass: How is mass implied?
  4. Space: How is the illusion of space created in the piece?
  5. Time and Motion: Are time and motion evident in tis piece? How so?
  6. Light: How is light used here?
  7. Color: How does the artist use color?
  8. Texture: How does the artist create the illusion of texture, or incorporate actual texture

Principles of Design

  1. Unity and Variety: In what way is this piece unified and how is variety integrated.
  2. Balance: how is the piece balanced and how does the artist accomplish this.
  3. Emphasis and Subordination: What is the focal point and how is it emphasized?
  4. Directional Forces: what leads our attention to the area of emphasis?
  5. Contrast: Are elements that are strongly different? Consider colors and value also.
  6. Repetition and Rhythm: What elements repeat in the composition
  7. Scale and Proportion: Consider the relationships between things and their size

Papers submitted with terms addressed in a random order will be returned for clarification and reorganization and considered late. Additionally, papers submitted analyzing a work not listed in the requirements will also be returned for re-submission and considered late. There are 15 terms; each term is worth 5 points for a total of 75 points. You will receive 1-5 points for each term based on the depth of your response to each term.

Conclusion

After your analysis, has your initial interpretation of the meaning changed? If so, in what way? If not, how has your analysis reinforced your initial interpretation? Review your Introduction and initial observations and share ways in which your impression or interpretation of the work has changed.

Make sure you proofread your papers for issues with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors. If you reference a source other than the text (not required), cite this reference according to the APA or Chicago Manual of Style. The use of any secondary reference without providing citation is plagiarism and will receive a score of 0. Submitting the work of another is also considered plagiarism. Papers are checked for previous submission to the College and for any uncited content. Repeated incidents of plagiarism are reported to the Academic Affairs Office and the student receives an “F “grade in the course.

Grading Criteria

Refer to the following Midterm Paper Rubric for further expectations.

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