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    The Art Institute of Chicago Essay

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    When I went to the Art Institute of Chicago there was so much to take in and so much to look at. I honestly did not know where to look first or what to observe first. A lot of the arts were really intriguing and really fascinating to look at. There was a lot of diversity and obviously there are tons of different perfected techniques all within this Art Institute and it was really cool to see in person. It was cool seeing the big lion out in front of the Institute, I have seen that lion before but I never knew what it was in front of.

    The inside of the Art Institute was massive and it was really pretty inside and everything was laid out in a specific way. Everything seemed to be grouped by their cultures and societies and you could see the vast difference between the different cultures. The different wings of the building held artifacts from different time periods which I found interesting. There was a floor that had all the contemporary pieces of art and modern art. I also noticed that there was a lot of natural light in the building due to the many windows. All of the art was really spaced out and there is a lot of floor room to move in.

    My favorite piece that I picked out is a painting by Grant Wood and the piece is called “American Gothic”. It’s a picture of a man and a woman who seem to be farmers and they are wearing clothes that look like they are from the 20’s. The woman is looking in the distance or at something and the man is looking straight forward. We really cannot tell what they are thinking or feeling in this piece. Maybe the artist who made this piece wanted to meet their own personal expression through their personality and feelings that they tried to portray in this piece.

    Maybe this work is meant to show us two farmers who do not necessary like farming? I say this because looking/seeing this piece we can observe that they are not smiling. The man and the woman have no expression and it’s hard to portray their feelings. How we as individuals evaluate this work differs from person to person, from culture to culture and from age to age. Both of these individuals could be tired or had a long day of work and do not have the energy to smile. The man’s eyes, which are looking dead forward, seemed to burn a hole in my eyes from the perspective as maybe his eyes are telling a story.

    We can observe that this man is a hard worker because he is holding a pitchfork and he looks like the classification of a true American. The purpose and the function of this work can vary from many things on what it is trying portray or inform us. It could have been made to tell us things, embellish our lives or showing us who we really are. Or rather this work could have been made to show us the true inner beauty of farmers and to help us develop a greater respect for these people. Also, the man’s face shows exhaustion from maybe a long day of working when living during that time period was not all too easy.

    You had to work hard for everything you received in life during the 1900’s. This is true for today as well but technology and advancements had helped make a lot of our life’s easier. A lot of the elements in this piece help achieve visual unity and Grant Wood did a good job accomplishing this. Unity is one of the seven key principals of design and it gives the appearance or condition of oneness. We can see the man and woman work as a unit and they are one although we cannot tell if they are married, I feel like it is already implied to a certain degree.

    Ranging from what they are wearing and the style of materials all piece together. They are wearing farmers clothes in front of a farmers house and the style of their materials and textures give the illusion of unity. The old fashion life style with the man’s glasses all the way to the woman’s hair style all seem like they belong together. There is also a sense of unity with the colors the artist chose because they are darker and more plain colors that were more popular in this time period. There is a clear emphasis in this piece which draws our attention to the man and the woman leaving the rest in the background.

    The focal point in this work very well could be the man’s eyes because he is looking directly at us. It’s the specific spot or figure that draws our attention in a piece. The texture that goes along with this work makes it seem very realistic and it portrays even to the detail of the wrinkles on their faces. All of these parts and details helped to bring the piece together in unity. Unity also seems to be portrayed in this piece by achieving a sense of balance and directional force that seem to interplay between the opposing forces. Color is a also a huge component when looking/seeing this art work.

    For example the man has brown eyes which seem to be surrounded with lighter colors of his white skin and pigments. With this being done the effects really draw our eyes to this man’s pupils which are most indefinably staring right at the viewer. The artist achieved an emphasis to the man’s eyes the focal point by putting him to the right where the top of the roof seems to end. Also I feel like the big window on the house/farm is placed right in the middle of the picture that seems to point up at the roof which eventually leads the viewer to the man’s eyes.

    There is a depth to this picture that we can see in the available space and this is accomplished by using a scale and accurately using size relation of one thing to another. The objects in this work that seem closer are bigger to the viewer rather than the smaller objects that are viewed to be in the distance. In regards to this man’s pitch fork we can also see a sign of overlapping which gives us the illusion that the pitchfork is the closest to us. The man and the woman are in an essence overlapping the house in the fact that you cannot see the part of the house in which they are standing in front of.

    He also used texture and color to achieve the sense of overlapping and making the objects that are farther away in the distance not as vivid. It is clear that it is way easier to see the colors on the man’s and woman’s clothing due to the fact the color seems to fade out the further in depth into the picture. To wrap things up about this piece the artist used many dominant shapes that seem to be organic in the way they are irregular and free flowing to the viewer.

    Every shape that has to do with the house in the background is geometric by the rectangles and the square windows. The lines in this piece seem to be dominant and they are contour to the fact that they outline a specific form. Through dissecting this work of art we evaluate one thing over another for appreciation and specialness of something that we are truly evaluating. Overall a really interesting piece of work that has a lot of base and foundation to it that really has a lot of significant meaning behind it that they artist in trying to portray.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The Art Institute of Chicago Essay. (2018, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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