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Art has meaning and plays an important part in the lives of many individuals and groups. If you look around your home, your workplace and your community, you will find examples of art that is saying something to its audience. What it is saying may vary from person to person, since art is subjective. All the same, art can invoke emotions in people and gives its creators a way to express themselves and communicate their ideas with others.

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Interpreting Meaning

View and describe Winslow Homer’s painting The Fog Warning (1885). Try to interpret the meaning inherent in the work from the visual and contextual clues you see. Then view the same Homer painting at another website. Here you can compare your interpretation of the work to the curator’s text about it. Share your views and ideas about the meaning of each work of art so others can respond to your opinions.

Style and Meaning

Style really matters because each style in art is linked to different philosophical ideas about the world, humanity, the artist, and the meaning of imagery. To see a wide range of art from many cultures, look at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, which includes works of art, timelines, and thematic essays. and/or any links or resources of your choice.

Find works that seem to exhibit the following ideas:

  1. A work of art that is a representation of a human but not a specific or recognizable person.
  2. A work of art that is about a specific time or place.
  3. A work of art that is an image of a god, ruler or king or queen.
  4. A work of art that is about an artist and his/her view of the world.
  5. A work of art that is not a picture of things in the world. For each of the ideas, include the link to the image that you have chosen and state why you think that work shows the specific idea.

For each of the ideas, include the link to the image that you have chosen and state why you think that work shows the specific idea.

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Assignment 1, Part C: Critical Perspectives (5%)

Using the Links to art resources and/or links and resources of your choice, select three different works of art. From the following list of critical perspectives, select one for each of the three works you have chosen and interpret the work's meaning in the context of that perspective:

  1. Structural
  2. Feminist
  3. Ideological
  4. Deconstructive
  5. Formalist
  6. Psychoanalytic
  7. Feminist
  8. Formalist
  9. Structural

Use a different critical perspective for each work of art. Review the major ideas behind your chosen perspectives and explain how you think the images you have chosen fits the critical test. (Remember to give URLs of the links to the images.) Try to uncover the meanings of the images you choose, and explain how your chosen critical perspectives support your interpretations.