ART 2123: Printmaking I
Writing Assignment

This assignment is intended to complement your overall experience in this class and to satisfy the university’s block course writing requirement. Since most of you taking this class are not art majors (and many of you have probably never heard of “printmaking” before), this is intended to give you an opportunity to research various printmaking methods and their influence on many artists, both past and present.This assignment is designed so that most of the information you will need is readily accessible on the Internet (or in our library), and I encourage all of you to look at many artists before choosing which print/series to write about. You can find a list of artists working in each printmaking technique on the historical handouts I have sent to you via email this semester.

Assignment: Analyzing the meaning within a work of art
• Choose a print (or series of prints revolving around a theme) by any artist that works primarily in any of the following printmaking methods: etching, engraving (on wood or metal), mezzotint or drypoint, relief (linocut or woodcut) or monotype. Once you have chosen an image (or series), write a paper that attempts to analyze the meaning behind the work(s) and their historical significance by thinking about the following questions:

o Introducing the work and the artist:
o Is the artist a well-known figure? Were they primarily a printmaker or did they work in other art media?
o When/how was the image made?
o Is this work reflective of their overall body of work (stylistically or thematically) or is it an outlier?
o What attracted you to choose this image?

o Subject matter:
o What is the image depicting?
o Is a narrative (story) present? If so, is it a well-known story or event?
o Did the artist invent his or her own narrative? If so, why?

o Content description/discussion:
o Is the narrative or subject straightforward or is it obscure?
o When describing the work, what adjectives would you use to describe it?
o Are there symbols or metaphors used within the work (if so, what are they and what do they represent)?
o Is there a historical or social significance to the work?
o Did the artist convey the subject in a convincing way?
o Is this work meant to evoke an intellectual or emotional response from the viewer?
o Have historians or scholars written about this image (or series)? If so, what do they say? Did reading their thoughts change or strengthen your own opinion (did you see what they see)?
o Did the chosen technique enhance the image or do you think it would have worked better as a drawing or painting (describe how you have arrived at your opinion)?

Your paper should be four to six pages in length, double-spaced. No crazy typefaces…use 10 to 12 point only.

Please cite all sources (meaning, any information you use in your paper should be credited to its original source). Failure to cite sources is a form of plagiarism – don’t do it! Use the citation format Chicago Manual of Style; you can find a guide here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

You may choose an image (or series) from any time frame, as long as it is was made using a printmaking process.You willfind that subject matter is all over the map – printmakers have worked with every type of imagery imaginable (religion, politics, historical events, social satire, landscapes, portraits, fantasy –you name it). My best advice: choose an image that is interesting to you.

New DUE DATE: Thursday, April 16, 2015 by 5:00 pm.

Submit your paper to me via email


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