Formal Analysis of Art

Running Head: Formal Analysis of Art Pg.1

Formal Analysis of Art

By: Taly Johnson

Art 101

Instructor: Sandy Vargus

October 9th, 2009


View van Gogh??™s ???The Starry Night??? and Le Witt??™s ???Wall Drawing???. Describe both paintings in terms of their lines. What does each artist??™s use of lines communicate about the artist??™s personality and view of the world

With Vincent van Gogh??™s paintings, you can see the expressive personality he had. His lines are free and almost at times out of control. He seemed to be at war with himself and it came out in the paintings. He may have been mad at the world for everything not going his way. In ???Starry Night??? the chaos between the town and the sky or heavens makes you think about life and death and what they may bring. His way of drawing the lines is in a sense his signature on his paintings. Van Gough viewed the world as chaos and destruction giving the feel he was suffering and unhappy with life.

With the Le Witt??™s painting his lines are precise, organized and logical. Mathematically rigorous and rationally organized to precision. And since Le Witt works are usually put together by the museum staff it gives it an unique appearance each time it is put together. Le Witt viewed the world thru precise calculations giving the feel he planned everything leaving nothing to chance.

View Valazquez??™s ???Las Meninas??? and describe the formal qualities of this work in terms of its organizing space. Do the formal qualities working together create a particular effect If so, what is it and how is this accomplished

There is more here than meets the eye. There is an air around the subjects, the room the are in, and even on us in a way. I believe Velazquez exaggerated the natural inclination of our eyes to view things conically. We have a cone vision of the clearest towards the center and softer towards the outside or our peripheral. Outside of that cone of sharpness the figures are painted differently, the forms are softer, but not in a blurred sense. There is movement also not animated but flickers of movement. The midget nudging the dog. The menina dropping down, her left hand bending up as she seems to ask or pleas for something. There is a man in the back pulling the curtains, and a lady in waiting talking with her hands. The only ones still are the chaperone and the King and Queen in the mirror. The formal qualities produce a family environment one that you feel drawn into and don??™t want to leave.

View Hoppers ???Nighthawks??? and describe the formal qualities of this work in terms of it??™s color and light. Do the formal qualities working together create a particular effect If so, what is it and how is it accomplished

Hopper depicts the emotional isolation of the average American during the depression. The composition is powerfully supported by the visual simplicity of the design. A geometry inspired by the examples of Mondrain. It is as if his figures in the painting are isolated from one another in the vast horizontal expanse of the canvas. It gives it the effect of being late at night few people around just the few that are going for coffee. The shop keeper is away from the 3 customers who seem to be ignoring each other. Even the couple sitting together seem to be ignoring not just everyone in the diner but each other. I believe the use of darker colors makes the figures seem to blend in and kind of disappear at times.