Art Review

Art Criticism involves making discriminating judgments about artworks, both favorable and
unfavorable. As we have learned, art criticisms tend to fall within three categories:
1. Formal theories focus attention on the composition of the work and how earlier
works may have influenced it.
2. Contextual theories consider art as a product of a culture and value system.
3. Expressive theories pay attention to the artist’s expression of a personality or
Questions to consider for this assignment:
• Based on your own set of values which theory might you prefer?
• What are you looking for in a work of art?
• In your opinion, what role does contemporary art serve?
For this assignment I want you to imagine that you are an art critic for a major publication. In next
month’s issue, your editor would like you to write a review about a work of art from a local
exhibition. So, to complete this task, you will need to go out into the community and experience a
work of art first hand. This means you will need to attend a local gallery or museum. I will provide
you with a list of possible venues in both Orange County and Los Angeles.
The work of art for this review can be any form of art done in any type of visual media. You should
experience this work of art first hand. That is, you need to experience it as the artist intended (if it is
a painting, you need to have seen the painting in person. Only seeing a reproduction of a painting is
not sufficient to write a review). It might be a good idea to bring a pencil and paper while you are
out viewing the work so you can jot down some ideas.
After you have visited the museum/gallery and you have selected the work of art you would like to
review, you are ready to begin writing.
**Remember to use the vocabulary terms we have learned throughout the semester. This is
your opportunity to demonstrate how fluent you are in the language of visual arts**
**This is to be a 500-700 WORD/ DOUBLE SPACED review.
Name of Publication (20pt Bold/Underline)
Title of Your Review (18pt Bold)
Museum/Gallery Name (12pt Bold)
By: Your Name (12pt)
Date (12pt)
For this portion of your review give information about the exhibition you are viewing. For
instance: Who is the artist/s? What is the title of the show?
How long will the show be open? What museum/gallery?
Also include some background information about the artist,
and information about the artwork you will be reviewing
(e.g., title, medium, dimensions).
Lastly, state your thesis (i.e., your opinion) what it is you like
or dislike about the work of art and why.
Here you will substantiate your thesis by describing
specific parts of the work that support your opinion. To do
this it might be good to first give a detailed description of the artwork. To help support your thesis,
you can use one of the three basic theories we discussed in class that resonates most with you. It
might help to analyze the work of art from one of these particular points of view.
Also, to help support your thesis,
include at least one art historical example
and explain how it relates to your opinion
about the work of art you are analyzing. This
can be an artwork we discussed in class or one
mentioned in your textbook.
You will also need to include AT LEAST
ONE and no more than THREE Image/s of the
artwork you are writing about. If possible,
please embed the image/s within your text like I have done here.
Wrap up your review by restating your thesis. Describe what this experience has taught
you, and give general comments to your readers about what you hope they learn from reading your

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