Art as Formal Order


(Paraphrased from Art: Images and Ideas by Laura H. Chapman)

Some philosophies of art are based on respect for logical order and idealized forms people can invent.  Standards for judging art include:

First Impression:
The work is beautiful, harmonious.
  • The work is unified by a kind of invented or mathematical order.
  • The proportions of parts, colors and other elements are more perfect or idealized than you might see in life.
  • The work is not filled with details you might see in life.
  • The subject or theme is idealized or has a spiritual quality unlike everyday, ordinary life.
  • The work is more abstract than realistic.
  • You can see evidence of extreme care in using materials and finishing the work.
  • You sense the artist knew exactly what to do with materials and techniques.
Functional or Decorative Art:
  • The form of the art is elegant, refined or dignified.
  • The practical use of the object seems to be less important than the design.