Comprehension, Discussion and Writing: Review of Yoko Terauchi at Museum für Post und Kommunikation, Berlin (1997/2012)

R.J. Preece (EFL)
English for Art & Design | 29 June 2012
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Read Yoko Terauchi at Museum für Post und Kommunikation, Berlin (1996).

Exercise 1: Comprehension Questions

Answer the following questions.

1. Is this art being shown in an unexpected place? Explain.
2. What was the main condition set by the museum?
3. What did previous artists do?
4. Is this work typical of Yoko Terauchi’s work?
5. What is Terauchi’s concept?
6. What are the visual aspects of this work?
7. How does this work connect to the museum’s mission? How doesn’t it?
8. Do you think this review is "informative" or "critical"? Give examples.

Exercise 2: For art and design (history) students— Examining the Language about the Artworks

Look at paragraph six and answer the following questions for the three works that are presented.

1. What kind of information is presented about the individual works?

A. Visual elements and principles of design
B. Subject matter
C. Concept
D. Materials
E. Information about the artist’s cultural background.

2. Can you find this information in other parts of the review?

Exercise 3: Creating an Outline from the Essay

1. Print out the review and number the paragraphs 1-7. Match the paragraphs with the following outline:

A. The artist’s basic concept
B. The artist’s concept relating specifically to materials
C. The context of the work in the artist’s career
D. Description of some of the works in the show
E. Site for the art work (unusual)
F. The artist’s intention vs. the museum’s
G. Previous exhibitions using the same "theme"

Exercise 4: For art and design (history) students— Writing an Art Show Review Draft

With a partner, choose an art show to review in your area. (It is probably easier to choose a show with art work by one artist.)

1. Write out a list of questions for any art show. Think about these things:

A. The exhibition space
B. Was there a curator? What did s/he do?
C. The kind and variety of art work presented
D. How does the work relate to the previous work by the artist?
E. Was the artist influenced by other artists?
F. What are the similarities of the work both visually and conceptually? What are the differences?
G. Think about subject matter, content, visual elements: line, color, shape, texture, motion, space, etc.; principles of design; cultural influences.
H. Criticism: Do you think the artwork is well done? Explain.

Suggestion: choose an exhibition at a small gallery and ask if you can take reference photos. Also ask for any information sheets about the artist and the show and if a press release is available. Just explain that you are very interested in spending time looking more closely at the artwork. Some artists and galleries will appreciate your interest.

2. Discuss the questions that you made and your answers and ideas with your partner. (If you can interview the artist, audio-record the interview for later listening.)

3. For your art review draft, organize the information that you have into an outline. You can include lots of questions that you have and organize them into the outline too.