Pick two pieces of work from the same genre that have a striking contrast between them. Describe and explore that contrast. Explain why you prefer one to the other of the works.
First, pick two works from the same genre: portraits, still life, landscapes, religious works, allegories, mythological works, abstract works, etc.
Second, make sure that the two pieces you pick are executed in a comparable medium: both of them are paintings, or sculptures, or prints, or textiles, or jewelry, etc.
Remember the two pieces you pick must be comparable conceptually and material-wise. There is no point to compare a broach to a religious painting.
Try to concentrate on an aspect that interests you: for example, the use of light in the work. Is there a big difference between light and dark values? Is the light coming from within or from outside? Is there one or are there multiple sources of light? What kind of mood does it create: is it subdued and lyrical or aggressive and prominent?
Use of visual arts terminology covered in your textbook is expected in your presentation.
You need to take photos of both pieces you chose. Upload them in the blog for the Metropolitan Museum presentation. It is very difficult to take good photographs of art work, so you can copy the images from Internet for a better quality once you have chosen them in the museum.
You should gather the following materials:
1. Choose two works of art: one that you are very attracted to and one that you don’t seem to be attracted to or find altogether disturbing.
2. Make sure that you introduce briefly the work you are talking about. For example, if you are talking about a couple of paintings, you should say who created them, when, where, within what context (are they religious or secular work), and any short biographical information you want to present about the artists. This part of the preparation should involve some research.
3. Pick a formal element or a principle of design that is used in both pieces (see the example with the use of LIGHT above) and talk about why it seems to you so appealing in one of the pieces and not so much in the other.
4. Briefly mention the materials/techniques used to create the works and how the choice of materials enhances the work.
For example: when artists started using oil paint, they were able to work on their pictures for extended periods of time because oil paint drys very slowly on the surface. That gave the artists the chance to blend colors to very smooth gradual transitions. The oil paint could be used very thin in the creation of glazes, which gave artists the possibility to create very deep, dark, translucent shadows. Oil paint could also be used very thick in the creation of Impasto, which allowed artists to build up the light on the form. The combination of all of the above gave the possibility to create very realistic-looking work.
5. Post the written portion with your blog. It should be brief and to the point. It should be no more than three paragraphs and no longer than about 300 words (about a page). It should be in your own words. Don’t start talking about a style or movement; for example, if you choose a Cubist work by Picasso, don’t pack your paper with information about Cubism: talk about the specific work you’ve chosen. You should, however, use the visual art terminology covered over the semester. Do not copy text written by art historians in connection to the work you have chosen.That will grade very poorly. If you must use some reference to someone’s research (that includes Wikipedia) you must cite it. Please refer to Plagiarism in the syllabus.
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