Ap art History PowerPoint Project by Jim Henson

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AP Art History PowerPoint Project by Jim Henson

  • zzzy_brancusi_bird_1928_hens


  • Interpreted Using
  • The
  • Feldman Model of Formal Analysis
  • Feldman’s Model of Art Criticism
  • From the work of Edmund Burke Feldman,
  • During the late 1960’s and early 70’s
  • 1. Description-
  • List the visual qualities of the work that are obvious and immediate.
  • “What do you see in the artwork”?
  • Include content and subject matter in representational works-
  • Include abstract elements in nonrepresentational pieces.
  • 2. Analysis-
  • Focus on the formal aspects of elements of art, principles of design.
  • “How does the artist create a center of interest?
  • How does the use of color impact the painting?”
  • 3. Interpretation-
  • Propose ideas for possible meaning based on evidence.
  • “What was the artist trying to communicate”?
  • 4. Judgment-
  • Discuss the overall strengths/success/merit of the work.
  • How and why has this work achieved cultural value?
  • Constantin Brancusi
  • Bird in Space
  • 1928
  • Abstract Movement
  • Bronze, limestone, wood
  • 54” x 8 ½” x 6 ½”
  • Created while in France
  • What Makes ‘Modern Art’ Modern?
  • Brancusi Bird in Space, 1923,
  • An earlier version completed as a carved sculpture
  • This was first in a series of many ‘bird’ sculptures


  • a. Bronze, limestone, wood
  • b. Cast sculpture
  • c. 54” x 8 ½” x 6 ½”
  • d. Smooth banana shaped shiny metal
  • e. Mounted on a limestone cylinder with rectangular wooden base
  • f. Vertical, slightly curved, with pointed ends
  • g. Reflective, polished golden color
  • h. Graceful flowing simple lines
  • i. Looks like part of a machine
  • j. Natural materials, refined


  • a. Geometric shapes
  • b. Emphasis on simplicity
  • c. Gracefully balanced
  • d. Has both natural and manmade elements
  • e. High contrast and vibrantly reflective
  • f. Occupies real space
  • g. Flowing lines imply movement
  • h. Actual textures can be experienced
  • i. Balanced between symmetry and asymmetry
  • j. Based on a previous marble version in 1923

3. Interpretation

  • Demonstrates an abstract essence of a bird in flight
  • Abandons traditional representation, yet maintains suggested beak, body and feet
  • c. May be experienced as personal and similar to ancient artifacts that might have spiritual or ritual connotations
  • e. It is best viewed when it can be observed from all angles

4. Judgment

  • What sets this work apart and makes
  • it worth studying? (Metropolitan Heilbrun Timeline- creating abstract bird in flight)
  • b. How does this work fit into the context of what came before and after it? (What inspired Brancusi?)
  • c. How have critics, historians, and the public reacted to this work? (Reaction to Avant-Garde)
  • d. How has this work changed the way art is viewed? (Beyond Brancusi)
  • Link to Essay Analysis
  • Academic Essay Link
  • Khan Academy Video
  • Brancusi Works Online
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Any art in which the depiction of real objects in nature has been subordinated or entirely discarded, and whose aesthetic content is expressed in a formal pattern or structure of shapes, lines and colors. Sometimes, the subject is real but so stylized, blurred, repeated or broken down into basic forms as to be unrecognizable. Sculpture that is partly broken down in this way is called semiabstract. When the representation of real objects is completely absent, as opposed to realistic or figurative sculpture, such art may also be called nonrepresentational or nonobjective, a term first used by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). An abstract element or intention appears in works of art and decoration throughout the history of art, from Neolithic stone carvings onward. But abstraction as an aesthetic principle began in the early 20th century with Braque (1882-1963). Further reading at SCULPTURE GLOSSARY
  • Summary
  • Abstract Sculpture
  • 1922-1925 and 1947-1970
  • See the Golden Age of Abstraction
  • Brancusi was drawn to the innovative art of Auguste Rodin, from whom he learned that the purpose of sculpture is not merely the representation of the surface of forms but the evocation of the inner force that produces the surface.
  • His Ecorché, or flayed nude, executed in 1902, is such an accurate study of the male anatomy that it is still used at the medical school in Bucharest.
  • Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), a Romanian sculptor who settled in France, revolutionized the art of sculpture in the 20th century. His work revealed the beauty of pure form in sculpture, but he endowed it with an organic mystery.
  • When Constantin Brancusi exhibited “Mlle Pogany,” a highly abstracted portrait bust, in the New York Armory Show of 1913, it was one of the most highly ridiculed pieces of work in the exhibit. See VIDEO here.
  • References
  • More Works by Brancusi
  • More works by Constantin Brancusi
  • More in Sculpture
  • More in School of Paris

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