I read an excerpt from an art history textbook about how to formally analyze artwork. It had been broken up into sections of how to analyze particular works of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, architecture, installation, digital, and performance arts. I focused on the main pieces that I usually study and create which are paintings and sculptures. After reading the text once, I went back and read through it again, this time looking for key or repeating words and strands. Two main ideas that I took from the reading are that an analysis of art must be viewed not only as an audience but as an artist, and the necessity of using contradictory aspects of art to analyze work.
Here lies my analysis of a piece of art I chose, to test my comprehension of the article:
Viewing art as an observer is simple, it is a basic comprehension of a piece and whether or not the viewer can connect with it. However, when I began to analyze pieces as an artist, I saw delibracy in marks and choices that were made specifically to achieve the final outcome. If I were to pick a particular painting, for example Matisse’s Interior with a Violin Case, an observer can acknowledge the contrast of color, the slight sense of depth and the balanced composition. When looking at the painting again, this time as an artist, I rethink each stroke as if I were to have created it myself. I explore why I would have put it where it rests or whether I would have altered it slightly. I plunged into the thought of what the canvas had looked like at the beginning. The underpainting, whether it be in yellow ochre or charcoal, if he had started with the darkest darks. Then I had realized that he most likely focused on basic shapes, because the painting has a short spectrum of value. The painting that I had seen many times in my life, created by who I consider to be my favorite artist, made in my preferred era of art, broken down into emotions and hand movements. Each stroke I admire is a direct translation of raw, improvised thought.