Unit 1: Fiction Finding a Place in the World Class Discussion What is art? • • • • Are paintings in museums art? Sculptures? What about street performances? Graffiti? Would you consider a sculpture art if it was created by a world-famous sculptor? • What if your classmate created it? Class Discussion (cont.) What is the difference between good art and bad? What makes a work of art interesting? • Is it the subject matter? • Is it how well the artist uses their media? What else might it be? What Makes Art Work? • Art appreciation is a personal matter. • You may not appreciate a work of art that others do, and vice versa. • Art contains many elements that determine how it appears to the audience. • Perhaps one of the most noticeable elements is a work’s composition. Composition • In art, the word composition refers to the arrangement of forms within the work. • Composition can be stable or dynamic. • Forms within a composition can create positive and negative space. • Most people prefer certain compositions over others. Stable Compositions • In a stable composition, there is little tension, the forms are balanced, and there is little visual movement. Dynamic Compositions • A dynamic composition creates tension and movement, and the forms may not be balanced. • Note the positive and negative spaces. Negative Space Positive Space Stable versus Dynamic Compositions Look at the following works of art. Determine whether they are dynamic or stable compositions. Isaac Royall and His Family, 1741. Robert Feke. Oil on canvas. St. George and the Dragon, 1505. Raphael. St. Michael, 1665–1666. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1871. James Abbot McNeill Whistler. Stable Dynamic Stable Dynamic View the Art • You may recognize the work of art on the next slide. • It is one of the world’s best-known paintings. • Try to determine if the composition is stable or dynamic. Mona Lisa, c. 1503–1506. Leonardo da Vinci. Oil paint on wood. Refer to the Art • Note that the main figure is motionless and the painting is free of tension. • The painting is well balanced and almost symmetrical. • This painting has a stable composition. About the Art • The woman in Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait is unknown. • Scholars have argued about whether she is a real person or an ideal created by Leonardo’s imagination. • The Mona Lisa embodies the European notion of a masterpiece—a work of art that transcends all others. About the Artist • Leonardo da Vinci is considered to be one of the great geniuses of the Renaissance. • The Renaissance was a period in European history that saw a flourishing of the arts and sciences. • In addition to art, Leonardo studied anatomy, biology, geology, and physics. About the Artist (cont.) • Leonardo believed that it was important to record his thoughts and studies. • Because of this, today we have detailed records of his observations and ideas. Recall the Theme How might the concept of a masterpiece be related to the Unit 1 theme of “Finding a Place in the World”? What place has Leonardo da Vinci found in the world? How about the Mona Lisa? Classroom Discussion Discuss the style of composition you prefer and explain why. Discuss what you believe to be the definition of “art.” Extension Activities • Find a variety of images and identify the composition of each. • Find examples of artwork you particularly enjoy and others that you do not.