【Formal Analysis Paper】
Choose a modern work of art from the Walters or BMA. (I have already pick one, and its in the attachment files)
Write an essay describing the work’s formal features, that is its aesthetic components (i.e. scale, texture, composition, color, mark making, materials, etc.). This is NOT a research paper and should be based solely on your observations.
Take notes in front of your work! Read Sylvan Barnet’s excerpt on writing a formal analysis paper (posted on Moodle). Ask yourself: What are the most striking, powerful, and/or moving qualities of the work? How does the artist use these qualities and for what purpose? To quote Barnet, “What is this doing?” and “Why do I have this response?” How do the formal elements evoke a mood and/or suggest a theme? How does the mood or theme suggest something about the larger ideas or meaning of the work?
Your paper will be graded on the quality and insight of your formal analysis and the effectiveness of your argument. Because this is a writing assignment, you will also be graded on the clarity of your writing – pay attention to structural organization, grammar, and spelling!
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