This assignment is aimed towards Year 11 Studio Art.

Provided are a series of theoretical questions that emphasize expressive qualities and utilise critical enquiry to address the relevant links to outcomes for the following:

  • Unit 1. Area of study 3: Interpretations of art ideas and use of materials and techniques

  • Unit 2. Area of study 2: Ideas and styles in artworks

This blog has been designed with Structuralist and Poststructuralist perspectives in mind. It is important to mention that the Structuralism method follows two trains of thought, both utilised throughout:

1. Structuralist –Perceives all cultural phenomena as sign systems that are centered on a profound and hidden structure, and where all human languages are a system of signs with its own rules and regulations for use. Structuralism is based on the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure, which hold that language is a self-contained system of signs, and the cultural theories of Claude Lvi-Strauss, which hold that cultures, similar to languages, can be viewed as systems of signs and analysed in terms of the structural relations among their elements (Deleuze,2002.)

2.Formalism – based on aesthetic appearance. Clive Bell, an English Art critic, was prominently associated with formalism in aesthetics and advocated that it is an object’s formal properties which make something art, or which define aesthetic experiences (Pateman, 2000.)

Formalism is employed throughout this blog when students form judgements of an artwork, which have been informed from an analysis of the elements. It is further utilised when students discover interest from the representation of objects in artworks, where they can discern the craftsmanship of an object and how it is made and when there is a focus on beauty and aesthetics.

In regards to Poststructuralist theory the work of German philosopher Nietzsche (1844-1900) has had great influence. Nietzsche advocated active seeing and interpreting, while embracing ambiguity and engaging in the hidden depths of works of art. Nietzche upheld aesthetics over politics (Barrett, 2008.) The Poststructuralist approach is applied in this blog when students explore and ask questions about meanings and texts, while providing a broader range of answers that resist one single interpretation.

The Structuralist and Poststructuralist framework employed throughout this blog allows students to actively respond, analysis and interpret various artworks from different cultures and periods of time in a diverse, comprehensive and effective manner.

Extensive background and contextual information has been provided on five selected artists, a common theme that unites these artists is their use of the colour BLUE throughout their oeuvre. The selected artists and artworks are as follows:

1. Yves Klein: IKB 79, 1959

2. Brett Whitley: Self portrait in the studio, 1976

3. Anish Kapoor: Void (#13), 1991-92

4. Bridget Riley: Blue and Pink, 2001

5. Joseph Beuys: Blue in Centre, 1984

The varied and extensive information provided on this blog refers to artists: techniques, inspiration, ideas and formal and aesthetic qualities, all employed by the selected artists. This detailed information supports students in their development of forming justified critical responses about art.

This interactive blog contains all of the required information, including a series of further practical and theoretical activities that students complete once they have finished the set analysis and interpretations tasks.YouTube clips, interviews and other relevant links to assist student learning can be also be found on the blog.  Further, there is an additional page, titled BLUE: designed to act as a platform to inspire and inform students.


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