Art Review: Instructions
Write a 750 – 1,000-word (MLA format, double-spaced) review of a work of art (film, concert, painting,
etc.). You need to tailor your review to suit the needs of a specific publication. Thus, seek out a publication
that writes art reviews (like
New York Times
) and assess what the editors and readers of
this publication expect from a review—let this assessment guide your writing decisions.
You must attach a
sample review from your chosen publication to your final draft.
A review may include the following:
A description of what the work depicts.
A description of why the author/artist created it.
How it fits into the artist’s previous works.
How it fits into the current tradition.
What techniques the artist used in its creation—especially if these are unusual.
What it means. This can be seen in terms of timeless or time-bound issues of human value,
perception, creation, politics, etc.
What will or will not appeal to readers/spectators.
How excellent it is.
Art Review: Grading Rubric
The review accurately identifies and describes several dominant techniques and accurately
relates how they are used to reinforce the theme, meaning, mood, or feeling of the artwork.
The review takes into account audience appeal/appropriateness.
The analysis is concise and explicit, providing substantial textual evidence.
The review goes beyond “good” or “bad” evaluative statements, beyond summary, to discuss
what makes the piece effective, interesting, and innovative (or not).
The review places the work within its greater—genre, artist, social—context.
The review is written in a clear, concise style.
The mood, tone, and diction match those of
the intended publication.
The review demonstrates the writer’s awareness of his/her rhetorical situation.
The review reflects the preferences and/or taste of the audience.
The review starts with description to contextualize the analysis.
The analysis is purposeful: an intentional exploration of the way artistic elements add to
meaning rather than a catalogue.
The analysis ends with an overview or summary and recommendation.