You will be writing a formal critique for each of the 5 projects  this semester. Follow these criteria for your critique.

Project Submission Post on the Blog

  1. Create a new post (+New) and title it  ‘Your name or id – Project X’    (example: ‘Jen M – Golden Ratio Project’)
  2. Upload the  images of your finished project to the course blog site. The image must be optimized for web viewing but look good enough to see all the details when viewed on the website.  See instructions on how to do this here.  
  3. In a short paragraph or two, tell the class about any issues you encountered while doing this project, ideas you had, why you think it was successful or not,  anything you might try next time, etc.
  4. **Important: Check the appropriate category for this project .
  5. Conduct a formal critique on one other student’s post for the project assignment. Follow the formal critique guidelines below.

Discussion Expectations

You are also expected to reply to critiques on your work and feedback and discuss any relevant points.

Formal Critique Basics for Projects (not for ‘Exercises’)

The formal critique contains four sections:  Description, Analysis, Interpretation, and Evaluation.


small place

small place
165 x 190 cm
marker on canvas
by Nissim ben Aderet

Description (describe the artwork)

This marker on canvas piece by Nissim ben Aderet titled ‘small place’ shows a continuous line that overlaps in swirling shapes that look like people. Towards the center of the image, the lines become more dense and numerous resulting in an area that is fully colored in. The marker used was black on a white canvas. In the lower left there are different markings that may indicate the artist’s signature.

Analysis (how are the elements of the description related? i.e. think about the principles of movement, rhythm, variety, proportion, emphasis, balance, contrast, etc. )

As I view this high contrast image, my eyes are continuously drawn to the center of the image, the black shape created by the overlapping lines. It is almost as if I am trying to make sense of the shape – does it resemble a human shape?  I come back to the shapes suggested on the outer edges of the continuous line because they look like faces and yet they quickly dissolve as the center approaches. The  focus is centered in the middle and the movement of the line pushes the eye both outward and inward creating an almost dystopic balance.

Interpretation (how does it make you feel, think? what is it communicating?)

I am both comforted and disturbed by this image because, on the one hand, the people are being pulled into the dark shape by the power of the line and I don’t know what is on the other side of the dark shape or what it means. However, the people are all united by the line at the same time so it is reassuring as well because they (we) are not alone in our fate or in life.  The title of the work is ‘small place’ and perhaps that signifies a space within each of us. It could be the space of anything – emotion like fear or love, death, birth, but it is something we all share alike in the human experience.

Evaluation (is it a success or failure? why? is it original? how do you feel about it as art?)

This work fully captures my attention and although I’m not sure I would hang it on my wall because I find it slightly disturbing for reasons mentioned earlier, I do think it is successful in depicting a strong message in an aesthetically interesting and pleasing way. I don’t know how this piece could be improved but  I do wonder about whether adding some color would be an interesting accompaniment to the line in the finished work or whether it would be a distraction from the message. Color could emphasize another layer of the message that although we’re all individuals, we have the beginning and end of life in common.