This week, we’ve learned about the various modes of analysis art historians use, from formal analysis (analyzing the elements of art and principles of design in a composition), to contextual, biographical, iconographic, feminist, and psychoanalytic. Now, you’ll begin to apply these ways of thinking to analyzing a work of art: Edward Hopper, Chop Suey, 1929. Yes, we all will analyze this same work of art, so it should be kind of fun/interesting to see how everyone’s posts compare.

Edward Hopper, Chop Suey

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Here are the instructions for this discussion. Please read closely and make sure you complete each item for full credit:

Start with a brief formal analysis. Identify the two elements of art or principles of design that stand out to you the most. Why did you select that specific element/principle as being the most dominant? Write a short statement discussing how the artist has employed those elements/principles in the composition and to what effect. Make sure this is entirely in your own words, from your own observation (don’t copy any information word-for-word from a web site as that would be plagiarism and will result in a grade of 0).

Then, apply one other mode of analysis (biographical, feminist, gender, race, sexuality, psychological, iconographic, contextual) to analyze this work of art further. Make sure you watch the online lecture for examples of how to do so. For this, you’ll need to do a tiny bit of research. You can start here on the Edward Hopper website (Links to an external site.) or this article from Smithsonian Magazine (Links to an external site.), or visit another reputable source (please NOT Wikipedia, must be an academic source). If you copy any original thought, make sure you cite your source! The idea is to collect information about the artist’s biography, how women are portrayed or what that reveals about gender issues/roles at the time, the social/historical context and how that is reflected in the work, the psychological impact, etc, and then choose one of those modes of analysis to apply to the painting. You get to choose which mode of analysis to use, so there’s no right or wrong choice here, as long as you can back up your analysis with some thoughtful statements that make sense and are appropriate to the painting/time period/artist, etc.

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