In the Power to Look

In the video “In the Power to Look” is part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Explainer series, it illustrates that looking closely is one of the best tools to observe at the world. People can discover many details through careful observation and understand the true meaning of the work and understand what these artworks want to tell us. The video includes “American Gothic” by Grant Wood; “Yoruba Crown” from Nigeria; “Paris Street Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebotte and “Untitled #92” by Cindy Sherman. There are four different methods which are standards of intellectual quality. They are clarity, breadth, depth, and relevance.

In the “Yoruba Crown” from Nigeria, the presenter use clarity that one of the standards of intellectual quality illustrates the true consciousness represented by some details of the crown, such as birds representing women, real eyes in front and back, etc. By observing these details, people can understand this crown clearly and simply. In addition, in the “ Paris Street Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebotte in 1877, the relevant information allows us to connect this work with the social background, and I know that the author used the camera and some painting skills when creating, so that the page allows people to know the higher educational background of the painter because I do not think all people can use camera in 18s. Moreover, I think breadth and depth always relate together, the “Untitled #92” by Cindy Sherman expresses that the painting is very clear. The eyes in the painting intuitively show some ignorant details, but the fear diffuses from the eyes, triggering the association of the audience’s depth and breadth.

Therefore, the standards of intellectual quality are very significant because people author depend on it to convey some information accurately and audiences can rely on these to expand and develop deeper understand.



1 thought on “In the Power to Look

  1. Paul Fess

    Xiao, you raise good points here. I wonder if you could say more about how the attention to the standards of intellectual quality help shape the presenters’ overall argument about “the power to look.”

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