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Re: critiques-repsonse to Maggie


From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 20:02:10 PST

> Harry Broudy divides his format into four
> properties: Sensory (essentially, the elements of
> art); Formal (the principles); Expressive;
> and Technical (the mechanics of the medium and
> technique of creating the art). I save Expressive
> for last, as I feel the students need to have
> gone through the process of discussing the other
> properties first.

...I think Broudy is on my list of things to read -
one of the Getty publications???

> Hmmm, here again, working with students--or anyone
> unfamiliar with different art styles--I feel they
> have a need to "make sense" of something abstract,
> nonobjective, or conceptual.

My students last sememster had a hard time
abstract/non-objective work until we discussed
themes/subject matter and categorized a bunch of work
and had those left this point I introduced
"formalism." They got it. When they encountered it
in following critiques, they knew the elements were a
good place to begin (Well, most of them...)

The thing about modernism is that it does fit the EPD
models perfectly. It was built for them.

Certainly, understanding the elements and principles
helps make sense of something like Goldsworthy - they
are they delivery system. However, with someone like
Naim June Paik, Judy Chicago, and so on- dwelling on
shapes and colors, unity and variety can only take you
so far.

Maybe I've just read many examples that go on, and on
about the use of elements and principles in Hopper and
Winslow Homer and the beloved impressionists and then
they don't lead into anything bigger than that. But
they use those elements and principles, so it must be

> "Taking too long" is really the point of the
> process; it slows them down, gets them really
> examining the work, so they don't make snap
> decisions about whether it's "good" or "bad."

I actually don't get much good/bad talk. I start off
my semester playing Token Response with artwork that
ranges from Charles Russell to Kandinsky to Naim June
Paik and they know I love it all.

If a student comes up with its good or bad, they know
that a "what's good?", "what's bad?", or "what don't
you like about it?" and "what else is good?" will
follow. Even for my resource/life skills students.

I've had very good response to critique and do it
routinely. It is never a short process; I've learned
not to plan 15 minutes to introduce new artwork...They
wnat to get into it! They typically respond to
critiques in written form - I get lots of good
feedback about what they're really thinking from this
as well. I've been amazed at their honesty -
particularly when we have critiques of their work.

Thanks for sharing your position, Maggie

Perhaps I will try a more formal approach - I don't
like to always follow the same procedure.
That's probably another discussion though. (Sometimes
I like to have a formula so they can start to
anticipate the thought process; other times I like to
vary approaches because so that they have to actually
have to stay on their toes...)


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