Jules Cheret (French, 1836-1932)
or choose one art that must be in the Riverside Art Museum, and produced between 1900-1945
After choosing one work of art,
1. Carefully analyze your selected object, addressing the types of questions outlined in Look (excerpts available online) about technique, medium, internal arrangement or composition, color/line, space/ perspective, brushwork/sculptural technique, and rendition/treatment of the subject. Look from up close; look from afar; look from different angles while thinking about the choices the artist made in crafting this object.
2. Then use those patients, thorough observations of the physical object to inform a research-based interpretation. This paper must have an argument or thesis. It is not merely description but includes thoughtful analysis of visual observations. In order to formulate that argument, students must conduct research using at least three sources (one primary and two secondary). This is the research portion of your assignment.
Primary sources include documents written concurrently with the period in which the selected work of art was produced or during the artist’s lifetime. These sources can include but are not limited to: artists’ autobiographies, artists’ correspondence, art criticism, catalogues (both exhibition and auction/sales), interviews with an artist.
Secondary sources include documents written after the death of an artist. These sources must be published scholarly books or articles, usually identified due to their publication by an academic press and scholar of some standing; online sources are not permitted. When using the UC Riverside Library Catalogue, students are encouraged to research books, catalogues, and articles about their artist or selected work of art. Alternatively, searching general stylistic terms or categories, for instance “fauvism,” can yield excellent results. Most of the exhibitions listed above have printed catalogues.
3. Write a five to seven page paper describing, analyzing, and interpreting the selected work in connection with your research and the themes/concepts covered in class. Remember that this paper requires you to offer a critical argument about the selected work—this is not a paper about your feelings or emotive response to this work (no statements such as “I love this painting” or “it’s the most beautiful masterpiece” which are subjective and uncritical).
Sources must be properly cited using the MLA or Chicago Manual of Style Guidelines.