Extension Project for Visual Thinking Workshop
Assigned: February 16, 2017
Much of Tom Lee’s workshop focused on questioning assumptions and making choices. When working in art museums, Tom often has his audience look closely at a work of art without knowing anything about it. He then challenges his audience to make observations and develop conclusions about a piece of art without their knowing any of the factual context of the artwork or artist. His goal is to have audiences develop a personal and critical relationship with a piece of art: to be guided by imagination, rather than knowledge. He believes that what one sees and feels is just as valid as what one knows.
I would like you to list 20 conclusions about the painting below, based only on your observations. Do not research the artwork or attempt to find out anything about it.
Your conclusions can be about the subject, the painter, the timeframe, the country of origin, the media, or the techniques used in creating the painting. Try to be as objective and descriptive as possible. (For example, don’t include statements as subjective as “ I like the painting” or “I don’t like the painting.”)
After listing each conclusion, write a brief explanation of what you saw in the painting made you write what you wrote. For example:
6. The man in the painting looks to be about 80 years old. He has thinning white hair, a stooped posture, lines on his face and is smoking a pipe.
7. The man in the painting looks to be quite poor. His cheeks are gaunt, his clothes are torn and dirty-looking, and he is sitting on a stool in front of a small, rickety-looking cabin.
Your list of conclusions should be typed and numbered.