Critique of a specific work of art by Ansel Adams. Tetons and the Snake River

Follow the format below:

Description/ Analysis of the Piece

This section of the discussion is where you really get to know how the artist used the arrangement of design elements of line, shape, color, texture, space and materials in the art object or architecture. The Description/Analysis is not about personal preference.

What materials or medium did the artist use mostly and specifically in the work of art that you are discussing? For example, oils or tempera? Granite and steel in architecture? What were the techniques employed?

What are some recognizable objects, figures, or images of this artwork? In other words, content. Identify the setting or scene or the background and the use of space. For sculpture– is the form simple or complex, rounded or angular? Is the form stylized/abstracted or representational of a form in nature? If the piece is not representational, then define the abstract shapes, lines, patterns that are visible

Describe the work by stating colors, line, texture, form, and the significance of how they relate to each other in the work. How are lines, colors, textures, shapes, space used to create the arrangement of center of interest or focal point, balance, repetition, harmony, form? Is there strong contrast of light and dark values in a painting or is there one area that is the focal point of light? Is the work of art balanced equally on both sides? Or, is it asymmetrical? How do different areas of a piece relate to each other?


Discuss what ideas or feelings the artist was trying to communicate. Does the work have a political, cultural, or social message according to your research? For example, does an ancient artifact have any ritual significance? You can give some of your own ideas here BUT that needs to be in addition to research from art references. Do not use first person. For example, do not use phrases like “I think” or “I feel.”


Reemphasize the most important points that you wanted to make in your discussion. Summarize the other sections and tell us how relevant this art/architecture is today and how we should consider this piece in our world today


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