How to Interpret Sculptural Artforms – Part One
So you enter a gallery, a public space, a friend’s home or a business office and there it is – a three dimensional artwork that you’ve never seen before. Maybe it’s not even an artform or sculpture – what exactly is it? And how does it make you feel?
As three dimensional artforms speak, their language is dependant on the surroundings they occupy – light, shadow, space and texture are just a few elements that help shape the effect of that artwork on its viewers. Is there a correct way to interpret a sculpture or three dimensional form? Or is it mere feeling and sense of mood that determine our interaction?
I came across an interesting series of slideshows on the website of Artist and Educator, Mark Creegan. If you go to this link, there are a few slideshows about art interpretation. I publish here Mark Creegan’s list of DESCRIPTIVE questions to ask yourself when viewing a three dimensional artforms;
- What is it?
- What is/are the material/s?
- What type of form?
- What formal elements are used?
- What organizing principles are used?
- What degree of dimensionality?
- What is the method of construction?
- Where is it?
- What type/s of experience?
- How does it interact with the space?
- How do you interact with it?
- How does negative space operate?
- Where does sculpture end and space around it begin?
- How is it displayed (pedestal, hanging, floating, propped, lying on floor, etc) ?
- How is gravity dealt with?
- Does gravity seem to work with piece or is the piece seemingly defying gravity?
In Part Two, I’ll list the next round of questions.