Writing a Formal Analysis of a Work of Art. What is a formal analysis?. Usually a formal analysis looks only at the elements of art and principles of design. Sometimes it includes interpretation.
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Writing a Formal Analysis of a Work of Art
Usually a formal analysis looks only at the elements of art and principles of design.
Sometimes it includes interpretation.
For this assignment, focus upon how the artist applies the principles of design to a chosen work of art. The point is to look carefully.
The Block, 1971
One of six panels,
Each panel 48” x 36”
Cut and pasted printed, colored, and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink, marker, gouache, watercolor, pen, and ink on Masonite
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Begin with a thought-provoking or evocative thesis; something that will hook your reader.
Bearden’s collage art, such as The Block, 1971, effectively combines elements of cubism to show an African-American urban neighborhood.
Other Points of the Formal Analysis
1. Read the image as you would read text. Begin on one side and work across, relating what you see, or find the most important part of the image and read from that point. Do not skip around.
2. Describe some important details. Talk about the elements of art and the principles of design.
3. Summarize the overall appearance of the piece. Make a statement of its effectiveness.
4. No interpretation.
Five or more pieces of evidence to support statement/thesis
Conclusion that is convincing