Di Luo's Teaching Portfolio
Broadly defined, art can be understood as a (principally visual) form of expression.
The various forms of art we study in this class include:
For beginners, it might be helpful to start with talking about how you “feel” about an artwork. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see it? (In this sense, looking at art can be much like poetry-reading; you rely on your “intuitions” as well as your logical thinking and reasoning. Even though you are not a-hundred-percent sure what the poem means, you get the general idea of it.)
Imagine you are a detective cracking a case. You need to learn to find the core question (e.g. is this murder or just an accident?), and you need to collect enough visual evidence or clues to help you answer your questions.
Visual analysis plays a vital role, but the message delivered by art can often be ambiguous, shifting, and even contradictory to different audiences, and interpretations could be highly subjective. Hence, beyond basic facts, questions art historians ask do not necessarily have right or wrong answers but could be open-ended. (This applies to the definition of art.)