Art Analysis & Critical Thinking Exercise

Art Analysis & Critical Thinking Exercise #1

ART  1107 Art in Society


Analyzing artwork is a critical skill for understanding its form and purpose in culture. This assignment is designed as an introductory art analysis and critical thinking exercise that will lay the foundation for a more comprehensive museum exhibition report later in the semester.     

As stated in the textbook, artwork from any time and any place in the world can be analyzed using these four major areas: visual form, content, function, and aesthetics. It is possible to gain an understanding, and perhaps an appreciation for any art, via careful, thorough analysis using these criteria. 



-Select a piece of 2-dimensional artwork from Chapters 1-4 in the textbook.

-Copy and paste the questions below into the text submission box and then answer every question using complete sentences. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar factor into your grade, as well as the depth and breadth of your response. Remember to incorporate art-specific terminology that you have learned in Chapters 1-4. Additional research, beyond the textbook, is necessary to adequately respond to each prompt. Be careful not to simply restate or copy what is already in the textbook or what you find through independent research. You must process and synthesize the information you collect. Also, make sure your assignment is completed exclusively by you and not shared with anyone.

[It is a best practice to complete the assignment in another program, such as Word, then copy and paste everything in D2L. This will allow you to take advantage of Words spelling and grammar check.]


1.     The title and associated figure number in the textbook (i.e. Fig. 1.5), media, dimensions, artists name, and year the artwork was created.

2.     Describe the subject matter or what is literally depicted in the artwork (e.g. portrait of a famous movie star).    

3.     Provide a description of the visual form using the formal elements listed below (refer to Ch. 2). Some of the formal elements may not apply to your specific artwork. For instance, when you discuss line you can address the actual lines, implied lines, direction of the lines, or the quality of the lines. 

a.     Line

b.     Light and value

c.      Color

d.     Texture and pattern

e.     Shape and volume

f.      Space

g.     Time and motion     

4.     Describe the visual form using the principles of composition listed below (refer to Ch. 2). Some of the principles of composition may not apply to your specific artwork.

a.     Balance

b.     Rhythm

c.      Proportion and scale

d.     Emphasis

e.     Unity and variety

5.     Identify the style used in the artwork (e.g. representational, idealized, non-objective, abstract) and explain the characteristics that place the artwork in this category.

6.     Does the artwork belong to a certain period or movement?  If yes, provide that information and explain why.

7.     What is the content or meaning of the artwork based on your research? If you find conflicting interpretations, then you can state both and which one you agree with.

8.     What was the function of the specific piece of artwork you selected? You may need to consider the context in which the piece was created to accurately determine the function.

9.     State one interesting fact, not stated in the textbook and based on independent research, about the media used. This can be anything that you find cool and interesting! 

10.  Explain why you chose this piece of art to analyze. After this detailed analysis and critical thinking exercise, share the most illuminating thing you learned about the artwork itself, the artist, the movement, or anything.  


If you have any question, I will answer asap.