Write a short but carefully written formal analysis of a single work.

Formal Analysis
The assignment is to write a short but carefully written formal analysis of a single work. The analysis is to be based on your own observations. While further research is not discouraged, it is not necessary, and will not guarantee a good grade for this assignment. You are free to use whatever information the museum provides on labels or signs, but be sure to credit your sources. You should look at and think about as many aspects of the work as possible. Consider the subject and the function or impact of the work, and address how the meanings, message, or expressive content of the work emerge through the artists choice of material, treatment of surface, application of paint, use of texture and pattern, line and form, space, composition, size, color, etc. Your job is to discuss how the formal elements are used in the service of the artists expressive goals. Papers must move beyond mere description and arrive at analysis.

State your thesis in the first few sentences of your paper by introducing the main points you intend to make about your chosen work of art. Will your analysis primarily focus on line, color, and composition to explain how the artist created a work that conveys a mood or elicits a particular emotion or responds to social or cultural currents of the times? Will your analysis focus on material and scale to show how your chosen work reinforces a particular cultural message? If so, say something about how the artist uses the formal elements you choose to elaborate on. Say something specific about them in the first few sentences of your paper to introduce the reader to your main points. A thesis sentence is NOT The artist used line, color, and composition to create an atmosphere of or send a message of What kind of line? What kind of color? What kind of composition? Why?

For the earlier works in particular (the Mesoamerican sculpture, for example), consider how the formal qualities of the work help serve a culturally specific function. What values of the society are communicated through the work? Does the work embody ideas of culture, religion, social organization, or propaganda? How? The information from lecture and your textbook should provide sufficient background information to help you with this contextual analysis.

For later works, think about the effect the artists formal choices have on the expressive content or meaning of the work. It is often useful to understand the artistic goals of a particular time period and to relate the work to them. Again, for the purpose of this analysis, you need go no further than the textbook, lecture material, and museum label. In the early modernism galleries, it might be useful to show how your chosen work relates to its particular sub-theme of the exhibit (i.e. Metropolis or Retreat)

This is the MET website this is the work of art to be used.