M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Analysis and Interpretation of an Artwork

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Galerie de l'UQAM, Montreal, Quebec

This lesson is to be carried out by consulting the collection of instructional objects titled The Painting Project: a Snapshot of Painting in Canada. By virtue of the diversity of recent works that it brings together, this is a unique and one-of-a-kind resource which testifies to the tireless activity being undertaken in painters’ studios throughout Canada. The collection notably includes the works of 60 contemporary artists that were selected after two years of research and which are classified according to four categories.

Thanks to this lesson students, teachers and professors will discover the wealth of current painting approaches and acquire tools to better view and understand the new developments in the discipline. They will also develop the ability to make links with the major movements that punctuate the history of Canadian painting.
Step 1
Explore the collection of the Painting Project instructional objects by focusing on the works included in the four following instructional objects: figures of reality, fictional worlds, painting as subject, and hybrid practices.
Step 2
Choose a work included in one of the four categories, for which you are to write a four page analysis and interpretation text (about a 1000 words).
Step 3
To begin, use an adequate visual vocabulary to describe the work on the basis of the materials it uses, the themes as well as the stylistic approaches and artistic methods applied by the artist (2 to 3 pages). To accomplish this task, make use of the following digital resources: stylistic guideposts; glossary; supports and materials. Consult other sources if necessary.
Step 4
Make links with at least one other work in the collection of the Painting Project instructional objects by comparing materials, themes and stylistic approaches.
Step 5
Give a personal interpretation of the work in light of the new observations.
Step 6
Reorganize these three parts by adding an introduction and a conclusion so as to polish up your text. Pay attention to your choice of words, spelling mistakes, and grammar and syntax.
Share your reflections
The teachers and professors may choose to commonly share the developed ideas so as to foster stimulating discussions.
Duration and Target Audience
The lesson will take place for the duration of two periods and it will be enhanced by supplementary consultations of reference volumes (art history textbooks, dictionaries, grammars, etc.) as well as by complementary online research.

It is intended for students at the secondary V, collegial and university levels. This lesson will encourage students to refine their writing skills in relation to the visual arts, to sharpen their sense of observation, and to engage their memory and analytical thinking.

Learning Objectives

— Appreciate artworks.
— Discover contemporary painting in Canada by way of images, video excerpts and texts.
— Acquire reference, analysis and historical contextualization tools to better view and understand current painting.
— Learn and apply contemporary art terminology.
— View images in a perceptually sensitive, critical and aesthetic manner so as to uncover meaning and express a personal judgment.