ART140 Printmaking Writing Assignment

Due Dates

Outline with Thesis Due November 24 at 11:59 PM (via E-mail)
Final Paper Due December 1 (in Class)


Between October 27 and November 24, visit a gallery or museum exhibition that includes printmaking and write a two page response based what you see and experience. Go beyond straight facts by proposing a thesis (a point of view) and supporting it with critical analysis. Make sure to explore the intrinsic value of the printmaking medium used in the exhibit, and contrast the success of the work as a print as opposed to a drawing or painting. Some questions you might consider:

  • What kind of work is on display?
  • Are there specific pieces to which you are drawn? Why?
  • Discuss individual pieces or the exhibition as a whole in terms of visual (formal) analysis. How are formal elements like line, shape, texture, value, color and space used? How does this use affect the formal principles of balance, emphasis, rhythm, movement, unity and variety?
  • What is the subject of the artwork? Given this content, do you think that the choice of printmaking as a medium was deliberate?
  • What do you think the artist or artists are trying to communicate? In other words, what is the concept behind their work? This could be a specific meaning or a conveyed feeling.
  • How do the formal choices the artist(s) made affect your perception of concept and content?
  • Does the technique influence your impression; i.e. is the message in the medium? Would this communicate differently if it weren’t printmaking?
  • Does the space or arrangement of the exhibition as a whole affect your experience? If so, do you think the curator/organizer took this into account when installing the exhibition?
  • What is the philosophy of the exhibition? Does the curator/organizer or the artist(s) have a goal for how the work is received? Does their intention match your experience?
  • Do you think the exhibition is successful? Why or why not?

To help guide your writing, take notes while visiting the gallery or museum. Write down your reactions and make note of relevant artwork titles and artist names (take a photo if allowed). Collect any available press releases or exhibition notes.

Local Printmaking Exhibitions

I have compiled a list of area shows featuring printmaking. You are by no means limited to this list, but, if you’re looking for a place to start, please check it out:

Printmaking Exhibitions

Writing Resources

Some resources you may consult to help you write your paper:

Hunter College Guide to Writing about Art

Excerpts from Sylvan Barnet’s excellent A Short Guide to Writing about Art:
Chaper 1
Chapter 3


Format your paper with 1″ margins, double-spacing and 12-point Times New Roman font. Put your name, date and assignment at the top. Utilize good grammar and run a spell checker. It is a good idea to have someone look over your paper for you as you edit.


Your writing assignment will be graded on the following:

  • completion of all assigned requirements
  • adoption of an original, critical point of view expressed in a thesis and supported in the paper
  • quality of writing (spelling, grammar, organization)

The writing assignment is worth 10% of your total course grade for ART140: Printmaking.


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