This blog is mainly conceived for art students who need to improve their use of the English language in order to communicate inside and outside the art world. The posted materials are meant to support the academic course for the second year students of UAD and apply the method of Genre Analysis to the specific purposes of using English for art.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso
2. Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Edgar Degas
3. No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. Oscar Wilde
4. To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist. Schumann
5. The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Walt Whitman
Comment on the documentary you have watched by trying to argue whether The Kiss should be considered a piece of decorative art or of fine art. You may, of course, come with other comments than those presented in the material.
DEADLINE for this task: March 26, 2017
The short video below is just to remind you some facts:
more specific meanings - showing similarities = comparing
- showing differences = contrasting
communicative purpose(s): depending on the specific intention of the writer, we can speak about:
descriptive comparison - to show similarities and differences between two artworks
expository comparison - to show similarities and differences between two issues in order to support a personal thesis
argumentative comparison - to show similarities and differences between two issues in order to support a personal thesis that is expected to encounter considerable opposition
standard move-pattern(s): two patterns: the "block" pattern and the "point by point" pattern
the "block" pattern Move I: Introducing the theme and the compared artists
Step 1: Setting the stage (the general context in which the two terms intended for comparison belong)
Step 2: Introducing the artists + works + theme(s)
Step 3: Stating the thesis and points of proof (if they exist in the writer's intention) Move II: Transition: announcing intended organization (the block pattern) Move III: Developing description/analysis/points of proof/constructive arguments
Step 1: artist/artwork A: elements 1,2,3 / points of proof 1,2,3 / constructive arguments 1,2,3
Step 2: artist/artwork B: elements 1,2,3 / points of proof 1,2,3 / constructive arguments 1,2,3 Move IV: Concluding upon the basic differences and/or similarities(by showing to what extent these have served the intended communicative purpose of the essay) Move V (optional) Works cited
the "point by point" pattern
Move I: Introducing the theme and compared artists (see above) Move II: Transition (announces the "point by point" pattern) Move III: Developing description/analysis/points of proof/constructive arguments
Step 1: Describing/analysing element 1 / elaborating on point of proof 1 / offering constructive argument 1 for work/artist A
Step 2: Describing/analysing element 1 / elaborating on point of proof 1 / offering constructive argument 1 for work B
Step 3: element 2 / point of proof 2 / constructive argument 2 for work A
Step 4: element 2 / point of proof 2 / constructive argument 2 for work B
Move IV: Concluding Move V (optional) Works cited
Read the text Two Edges of the Subconscious Reality in the Twentieth-Century Art by Olga Bersan. What pattern is there used? Which are the elements being compared? What discourse strategies are employed by the writer?
Read the essay Uniform Pigment and Abstract Paintings, by Laura Oprea.What move pattern is here employed and how exactly does it work? Which are the compared elements?
What other aspects would you consider interesting enough to compare in each pair of works? Note these as commentaries under this posted material. You can also comment on the way the two writers made their comparisons.
Deadline: March 26, 2017
Write a comparison on a subject of your choice, using one of the two patterns.
Which were the issues presented by the documentary watched in class? Do you have a personal opinion on this matter? Is graffiti a type of art? Try to answer by using the argumentative move-pattern but limiting to 1 counterpoint and 1 constructive argument (a paragraph).
"to argue"= to present reasons for or against a thing; to dispute; to debate
"to persuade" = to convince; to induce somebody to believe
- to present, explain, clarify, illustrate a viewpoint (the author's) (so far the goals are identical with those of the expository essay) + to persuade the reader that personal viewpoints are more valid than another person's viewpoints
Move I: Introducing the issue in contention
Step 1: introductory remarks to identify work + artist + issue in contention
Step 2: acknowledging counterthesis and counterpoints (the other person's viewpoints)
Step 3: providing specific details (who, what, when, where)
Step 4: stating the thesis (personal viewpoints - in one complete, unified statement about the issue in contention, precise enough to limit the issue, but general enough to ask for support, not too obvious, and showing the changes proposed to the counterthesis)
Move II: Presenting counterthesis and counterpoints
Step 1: Restating the counterthesis and enlarging upon it (in the introductory move we have just formulated it; now we have to show the reader that we bothered to understand what the other person's thesis really claims; therefore, we use our own words to explain what we understood and to convince our reader that we know exactly what the other opinion is)
Step 2: Presenting/restating counterpoint 1 (using our own words to show what the first point of proof used by the other person was)
Step 3: Presenting/restating counterpoint 2
Step 4: Presenting/restating counterpoint 3
Move III: Arguing thesis and providing evidence/proof
Step 1: Restating our own thesis and enlarging upon it (we have to make sure the reader fully understands what we claim)
Step 2: Providing constructive argument 1 and evidence/proof to support it (the weakest) to fight against counterpoint 1
Step 3: Providing constructive argument 2 and evidence to support it (stronger) to fight against counterpoint 2
Step 4: Providing constructive argument 3 and evidence to support it (the strongest) to fight against counterpoint 3
Step 5: Disagreeing with counterpoint 1 (refutation 1)
Step 6: Disagreeing with counterpoint 2 (refutation2)
Step 7: Disagreeing with counterpoint 3 (refutation 3)
Note: We can place side by side (mirror) our constructive argument and our disagreement with the other person's counterpoint in the same step, by convincing the reader that our argument and evidence to support it are correct and are better than the other's.
Move IV: Concluding by enhancing the validity of the thesis
We conclude by reminding our reader(in other words) what we claimed and by suggesting that our arguments were (far) more convincing that the other person's. We must never forget to be polite! We must never forget that our simple claim of a truth (our truth) is not convincing without providing proper arguments and evidence. After all, it is the reader to decide who was more convincing!
Move V: (optional) Works cited
Task 1: Read the texts Fashion Art: To BE or Not to Be, by Maria Hritcu and Damien Hirst--BetweenArt and Money, by Daniela Codrea; pay attention to the thesis in each of them, to the counterpoints and constructive arguments; which of them convinces you most? whose side do you tend to take? why?
Task 2: Express your own viewpoints on these matters (provide your own thesis, arguments, evidence). (orally)
Task 3: Write an argumentative essay (either on these subjects or on any other), related to art. Make sure you mark down all the moves and steps of your essay as well as some discourse strategies you make use of. The essay should be presented in class and submitted in print, within the deadline. It will be taken into consideration either as the final grade this semester only if you have the 4attendances IN CLASS; otherwise, it will count just as a simple intervention in class.
Here is some help for those of you who might need an extra class attendance; commenting on this material will count either as ONE class attendance, or as the usual comment. When answering this task, do not forget to mention if you want it considered as one attendance, or as one comment, after you have mentioned your names and departments.
Watch the video and identify some of the works reproduced here. Comment on the way Don McLean, singer and text writer of the song, interprets van Gogh's works, especially the "Starry Night". Here is a quotation Don McLean gives in an interview, of part of a letter Vincent wrote to his brother Theo:
"Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star."
DEADLINE : December 19th, 2016 (one and only opportunity). No later comments will be considered!!!
Happy Holidays, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Comment on the video material about James McNeill Whistler's "Portrait of the Artist's Mother" also known as "Arrangement in Grey and Black, No 1"; you might think about him breaking all sorts of conventions, both in his real life and in his painting. Or, maybe, think about what he said:
"Art should be independent on any emotions such as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like. And that is why I insist on calling my works 'arrangements' and 'harmonies'".
Is this just a portrait of his mother? Is it more? If so, what is it that makes this painting a widely known American artwork? What about the title?
You may find the following links helpful: