500 WORDS on the museum of modern art in New York city. Papers should have a clear, central thesis. Theses should be supported by what can actually be seen within- and read from the chosen artwork. Your thesis should be very simple. For example, if my thesis was “Gauguin uses the element of color to create heightened emotion in his painting Vision After the Sermon (1888),” I would focus my paper on the psychology of color; the specific unnatural colors used in that painting; I might discuss Gauguin’s flattening of space and subject as a means of placing emphasis on the color; I would think about the subject of the painting and question (always offer an answer. It’s okay if it’s “wrong”) why the artist would want to create a heightened/tense emotion in this particular scene – what does it add to the story?; and I would want to think specifically about the time and place this artwork was created and what the artist could be saying about his surroundings.
- use of careful, precise language to describe the artwork observed;
- an integration of descriptive and analytical statements about the object that steer the reader;
- the demonstration of an awareness of the elements, principles, and fine art media in use;
- clear reasoning about interpretations drawn from the looking process;
- presentation of alternative questions raised by the space and object when appropriate;
- use of art-historical interpretive approaches to engage with the object.