sample written critique

WRITTEN CRITIQUE STUDY GUIDE | Fine Arts Survey – Visual Arts

• Write in complete sentences and well structured paragraphs to support each point.

• Use specific examples from artwork and apply art vocabulary to the following steps:
  o Description: Artist, title, media, date, subject
  o Analysis: Reinforce interpretation through examples of Elements of Art & Principles of Design  o Interpretation: Mood, symbols (examples), message
  o Evaluation: Is the piece a success? Explain based on aesthetic, technique, craftsmanship, and expression  of an idea

• Be very descriptive and use original adjectives.
  o Examples: MELONCHOLY not SAD; ELATED not HAPPY

                                                                                                          Tony Fitzpatrick, The Devil’s Music 2009
This two dimensional art work was created by the Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick in 2009 and is titled The Devil’s Music. The imagery in this mixed media piece is very graphic, set against a black background in a vertical format. There is a border around the entire piece made of collaged paper, inside of which are small diamond symbols, framing buildings and organic shapes. The center of the piece also features large orange text that says ‘No. 9’.

The symbolism in this piece is first communicated through the words and numbers in the composition, reading ‘No. 9’. This number suggests that the piece is the ninth of the series, or perhaps the address of the building shown on the bottom portion of the composition. Fitzpatrick’s arrangement symbolizes organized chaos with scattered graphics in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Each graphic is evenly spaced and rarely overlaps in perfect harmony. The border is straight like a perfectly fit puzzle giving a sense of control, while the bright colors visually pop off the page representing life and energy.

The contrast in this picture showcases the vibrant color of each graphic against a black background. This difference creates a sense of energy along with the variety of shapes and sizes in the work. The text ‘No. 9’ is an area of emphasis, or a focal point, in this composition. The color of the text is orange and is repeated in other imagery around the border to better unify the piece through repetition, or rhythm.

I think this piece is a success because I am drawn to the style, or aesthetic, in Tony Fitzpatrick‘s body of work. His style manipulates space, representative of the city lights and energy of New Orleans at night. His craftsmanship is exemplary, showing clean edges on each collaged piece further lending to the organized aesthetic of the mixed media work. The technique uses in layering printed paper against a black background is compelling and reminiscent of a specific time period. Through these strategies, Fitzpatrick communicates a feeling of a busy city with character and life, with references to media and print from the time

New Work by Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony Fitzpatrick has been called a master printmaker, but he's also a poet, actor and inveterate gadabout. And when it comes to gallivanting, his favored stomping grounds are his old hometown of Chicago and his occasional home of New Orleans, where he attunes himself to the poetry of the streets, the scents of his favorite restaurants and the sounds of certain music clubs. A mystic of all things sensate, he poses a triple threat with notes about his collages that are as hypnotic as the graphics themselves. Then there are the poetic texts within the images: hieroglyphic arrangements of memories and observations, or deadpan analogies stacked like tombstones on the peripheries.

  The Devil's Music (pictured) is one of a series of small collages dedicated to the arcane symbolism of the number nine, a digital talisman of eluded limits and lives lived on the edge. Here a tawny "9" shines in a nocturnal sea of symbols, of floating music notes and metallic deco diamonds, of the lassos of cardboard cowboys and dice coming up snake eyes. Vintage high-rise towers and ads for flapper-era cafes vie with the visual cacophony of the city as an unsettling message appears on the margin: "SHE HEARD: ROLLING PIANO JAZZ: AND THE DEVIL SAT DOWN AT HER TABLE." His notes invoke the "greasy laugh" of an old friend who once warned: "Tread lightly, brother, you and me are already on our ninth life ..."

  Queen of Pink Acid is more ominous: an ebony elephant sporting a golden crown and a party dress with crimson hearts over her breasts. An electric mauve "No. 9" shimmers before her as bouquets of daisies and the detached arms of antebellum damsels float in an ether of skulls and diamonds. Disembodied text implores: "YES BABY, I BEEN TO THE RIVER. NOW TAKE ME TO THE DANCE." And here we enter a cryptic realm where Baudelaire meets Marie Laveau, and where the siren song beckons, but where only those with lives to spare dare tread.

'No. 9: An Artist's Journey: New Work by Tony Fitzpatrick'
Through Oct. 15 AMMO Gallery, 938 Royal St., 301-2584;