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

April 10, 2017

Dali's "Christ of St. John of the Cross"

Watch this short video:

Then, think about the documentary on Dali's  "Christ..." that we have watched;

How do you comment on the theme, its treatment, the possible meaning(s) of Dali's masterpiece? Are there any intriguing aspects? Where would you place it in the context of his whole work? Is it consistent with other works; if so, in what way? What other aspects do you find worth mentioning?

Deadline: April 30th, 2017

The Art Review


  • art magazines, newspapers of regional, national, international circulation
  • journals devoted to different art forms
  • radio + television broadcasts
  • the Internet (including blogs)


  • the general public; educated, experienced readers, not necessarily art connoisseurs; people who are interested in art and possess some knowledge and/or intuition about art; people who expect to learn something new about art, or just see art from different perspectives
  • the members of the artistic discourse community
  • undecided people (as to whether to visit or not an exhibition)
  • people who missed the exhibition, or are unable to visit it, because of its distant location or lack of time and who are counting on the intelligent writing of the art reviewer in order to get an idea about a specific art event

Communicative purposes:

  • to inform the public about a current, or a just concluded artistic event
  • to promote an artist, an exhibition (gallery or museum, why not?)
  • to offer the audience an evaluation of the show/exhibition (as personal, but expert opinion)
  • to competently describe the most representative works
  • to competently interpret the meanings of the works, by offering the necessary evidence to support interpretation (from within and outside the work; iconographic + iconological interpretations) -- the previous purposes are those of art critique
  • to convince/persuade the public that the effort of visiting the exhibition is worthwhile, or, on the contrary -- similar to advertorials
  • to persuade the readers to become art exhibition goers/expand the art public
  • to educate oneself and the audience; develop artistic taste; fight against bad taste -- the last two purposes coincide with art education' purposes


  • art critics, art historians, professional writers, journalists, philosophers (aestheticians, art theorists), authors of TV and radio series and programs, bloggers, church people, etc.
  • must have(s): enough experience to offer reliable evaluations; honesty; analytical, open mind; writing experience (offer that amount of information the audience needs; provide the right amount of scholarly insights without getting into too many boring details; maintain the reader's interest by varied rhetorical devices and discourse strategies); knowledge of the different (artistic) ideologies; knowledge of the art market.

Size: rather short, concise (500-600 words)

Move pattern and discourse strategies:


  1. catching the reader's attention by using the appropriate rhetorical devices (e.g. a rhetorical question, a paradox, a figure of speech)
  2. offering specific information about the exhibition (when - the period; where - country, town, gallery, museum)
  3. offering some information about the artist(s) (a very short biography)

Move II (WHAT; developing a controlling idea about the exhibition)

  1. offering a general picture of the show and a first evaluation
  2. different discourse strategies:
  • historical approach of the works (chronological)
  • an unpopular opinion
  • an analogy
  • what one expected vs. what one got
  • a comparison (between works of the same artist, of different artists, between styles)
  • the first impression (initial impact on the viewer)
  • the strength/originality of the artist
  • a question (either rhetorical or one that will be answered in the following move)
Move III (transition)
  • ensuring the coherence of the text
  • relating the previous information to the following
Move IV (reviewing works)
  • analysing artworks
  • offering partial evaluations
  1. describing + interpreting +/- evaluating work 1
  2. describing + interpreting +/- evaluating work 2, a.s.o.
Note: only the most appealing works are to be taken into consideration (the most representative for the artist/for the show; the ones that the critic liked best, or, on the contrary, disliked)
  • partial evaluations of the works are made according to some aesthetic criteria (implicit or explicit)
  • are usually positive, or holding some reservations; when the lack of value is quite obvious, evaluations are negative
  • rhetorical strategies include: avoiding ambiguity and clearly stating the value (using qualifiers and quantifiers- e.g. overstatements -hyperboles), or, on the contrary, cultivating ambiguity for the sake of politeness (e.g. understatements - litotes = saying too little); irony and rarely sarcasm.
Move V (concluding)
  • offering a final, on-the-whole evaluation of the exhibition
  • convincing the audience of the value of the show
  • persuading the audience to visit the exhibition
  • trying to predict the future development of an artist's work, based on the current show (speculating about future developments)
  • implicitly persuading collectors to buy/or not some works
  1. Read as many art reviews as possible while distinguishing the above moves and steps, rhetorical strategies, a.s.o
  2. Compare the interpretations and evaluations made by the critic with your own appreciation of the same works.
  3. Read this review: Comment on how the features of the art review genre help you better understand the exhibition and make you wish you would visit it.
  4. Consider an art review on prof. Bogdan Iacob's blog: . Give its title. Do you consider it a positive, or a negative review on the whole? Why? Which are the positive aspects and which are the negative ones? Do you have a clear image of that exhibition, based on this art review? Do the interpretations given to the analyzed works help you understand the artist's themes?
  5. Choose an exhibition you have seen and try to write your own art review of that exhibition.
 Deadline: April 30, 2017

March 27, 2017

Rodin's "The Kiss"

Comment on the different treatment of the theme of the kiss by both Rodin and Klimt.
Or, you may just comment on Rodin's work as presented in the documentary we have watched in class. You might consider the blending of classical and modern in his approach; the ultra (hyper?) realistic style; the influences on contemporary art, etc.

DEADLINE: April 9 2017

March 26, 2017

Using (Bibliographical) Sources

When writing a research paper (and not only that kind of paper) you are supposed to survey a lot of materials - books, specialized magazines, broadcasts, museum and art gallery publications, the Internet,a.s.o. All the pieces of information belonging to those sources that you may want to use in your own paper must be correctly acknowledged. This can be done in a number of ways; there are many models you can use. First ask your teacher/publisher-editor which style to adopt. If you do not have to stick to one requirement  you may consider the following two most widely used styles:

The MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

also called "in-text"/parenthetical documentation - the bibliographical information is supplied in the text, in brackets, where that piece of information is used; however, the bibliography ("works cited") is yet to be given at the end of the paper.

  • Peter Johnson claims that Raphael's works are ......(21), where 21 is the number of the page in the book you had previously mentioned, written by Peter Johnson.
  • Raphael's works are ... (Johnson: 21)
  • Turner's magnificent brushwork style can be considered a precursor of Impressionism (Johnson, Turner's Art: 38) -- this is another book by the same author, so you have to mention this other title.
  • Pratt mentions that Picasso met Matisse in Paris,1906...(qt. in Johnson: 99) -- this is to acknowledge the fact that you used an indirect piece of information; you didn't actually read Pratt, but you found him quoted in Johnson; apud is another term for this)
IDEM / IBIDEM : there are different opinions about how to use these Latin terms when acknowledging to sources; mainly, idem (id.) means "the same person who had been cited before", while ibidem (ibid.) means "at the same place" as cited before; some people use "op cit" (Latin opere citato) for "in the work cited before"

Works Cited (the bibliography in the MLA style)

  • Johnson, Peter. Raphael's Art. Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006. (a book published by a university publishing house)
  • Johnson, Peter. "Turner's Art." Art of the World Monthly, September 2008: 29-41. (an article in a monthly magazine)
  • Johnson, Peter. "Impressions." 21 Apr. 2010,>. (Internet, blog post)
  • Johnson, Peter. "The Book Illustration Art." The Art Bulletin 98 (2005): 201-203 (volume no. 98 of an art journal, pages 201-203)
  • Johnson, Peter et al. "The New Realism", Ann Arbor UP, 2010 (there are other authors, besides Johnson)
The Chicago Style

- the bibliographical information appearing in the text is documented as numbered footnotes (at the bottom of the page) or as endnotes (a numbered list at the end of the paper; their content is more or less the same as in MLA style; use p. or pp. for the number/s of the page(s) where you took information from); notes are not exclusively used for bibliographical information; you may also add some extra information on your own, or personal interpretations and comments on the cited/mentioned ideas.

1. Johnson, Peter.Raphael's Art (Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006), 21 (this can be a footnote or an endnoWorks Cited (Chicago)

Johnson, Peter.Raphael's Art. Washington, Thomson University Press, c. 2006

Johnson, Peter. "Turner's Art." Art of the World Monthly, September 2008, 29-41

Johnson, Peter."Impressions" [21 Apr. 2010]. Available from

Johnson, Peter. "The Book Illustration Art". The Art Bulletin 98 (2005), 201-203

Note 1: All the above names and titles are construed. They cannot be found in reality. They were meant only as examples.

Some publishers have very strict rules as to how the documentation should be given. Personally, I consider only the correct, truthful acknowledgment of the sources to be important, and not so much the style, which should be the writer's choice. Either way, do not forget to always mention where you have taken your information from, whether you quote it exactly or you paraphrase it, you summarize it, e.t.c.

Note 2: However, notice that such "works cited" entries as the following cannot be accepted at all:

  • album arta 'Mari personalitati- Leonardo da Vinci (quoted exactly)
  • Sabrina Laurnt, "Was Dali a Genius" (quoted exactly)    

please follow the link below in order to understand what plagiarism is and how one can avoid it:

The Research Paper

main communicative purpose: to contribute to the existing research effort in the field
secondary purposes:

  • to persuade readers that the proposed thesis (opinion, idea) is right (expository research paper)
  • to persuade readers that the proposed thesis is the correct/better one as opposed to another thesis (argumentative research paper)
  • to survey the most valid and convincing of  the existing research on a subject (descriptive research paper)
main differences between the critical essay and the research paper: the research paper is not merely a personal opinion about a subject (like in the case of the critical essay); it is the result of thorough scientific investigation, of many readings on the researched subject; it is the result of conscious and objective choices of the previous findings; it is longer in size; it requires the correct documentation of all the sources used for investigating the subject.

instances of research papers:

the seminar paper, different papers throughout the MA and PHD programs, the graduate course thesis, the M.A. thesis/dissertation, the doctoral dissertation, the feature / scientific article (in specialized magazines, bulletins, journals, on the Internet), the lab/scientific report, the scientific lecture

standard move pattern:

expository research paper:

Move I: Introducing the present research

Step 1: Introducing the general topics and the specific content
Step 2: Introducing research findings so far
Step 3: Stating the thesis / proposing new findings/approach
Step 4: / Move II: Transition: Presenting the points of proof (at least 3)

Move III: Developing points of proof

Step 1: Developing point of proof 1
Step 2: Developing point of proof 2
Step 3: Developing point of proof 3

Move IV: Concluding by reinforcing the thesis

Move V: (not optional) Works cited

argumentative research paper:

Move I: Introducing the topics

Move II: Acknowledging opposition

Step 1: Acknowledging counterthesis
Step 2: Acknowledging counterpoint 1
Step 3: Acknowledging counterpoint 2
Step 4: Acknowledging counterpoint 3

Move III: Stating the thesis

Move IV: Transition:

Step 1: Acknowledging disagreement with counterpoints 1,2,3
Step 2: Proposing constructive arguments 1,2,3

Move V: Developing refutations and arguments:

Step 1: Developing refutations 1,2,3 (why the existing counterarguments are not valid, or why they are now superseded)
Step 2: Developing constructive arguments 1,2,3 (insisting upon why the proposed constructive arguments are valid, or why they are better, newer, a.s.o. , than the existing counterarguments)

Move VI: Concluding upon the validity of the thesis

Move VII: Works cited

Specific discourse strategies (besides those employed by the critical essay): 

  • inserting other opinions (other authors) on the same subject
  • synthesizing previous research
  • assuming the voice of authority (with rights and obligations)
  • commenting upon sources (by agreeing or disagreeing with them)
  • paraphrasing
  • quoting
  • acknowledging to sources (notes + bibliography)

Task 1: Read the research paper Marina Abramovics--Between Art and the Extreme by Roxana Andonie. What type of a research paper is it? Which were the previous findings on this subject the author had access to and presents in her paper? What is the new  insight she proposes here? What do you think about her use of sources? Are they relevant? Are they well acknowledged?

Rhythm 0

Rhythm 10

Task 2:
Write a research paper on an art subject of your choice. You may think about a shorter version of your graduation paper, or you may choose a seminar task for another subject you study (aesthetics, art history, etc). Make sure you mark in the specified moves and steps. Take care about acknowledging to the sources you use and about giving the bibliography. You may use either end notes, notes at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or notes in brackets (in-text documentation).

Deadline for task 1: April 9, 2017
Deadline for task 2: April 10 and April 24, 2017

March 13, 2017

Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"

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:

The Compare and Contrast Essay

general term - comparison

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

Task 1:

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?

Task 2:

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?

Task 3:

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

Task 4: 

Write a comparison on a subject of your choice, using one of the two patterns.

Deadline: March 27 and April 3, 2017