The frames Subjective, Structural, Cultural and Postmodern
- provide a basis for
interpreting the making and studying of the visual arts. Frames
are a device or process
which help to give us an understanding of what the artist was
trying to achieve. Using the
frames helps us not only to understand the attitude of artists
but also the stance or approach
of critics and historians.
The frames are four models or ways of approaching making art
and asking questions about
art. Below is a brief, simplified definition of each frame.
immediate response based on the senses; expressive, personal
imagination, unconscious, intuitive (without thinking);
shared human experiences
• Critical study
Ask yourself: What do I see and feel about the art work?
What do others see and feel about the art work, considering
its historical time?
frame: codes, symbols and
signs used; use of elements line, shape, texture, and so
on; organisation and relationships; composition, scale; materials
Ask yourself: How has it been organised and what symbols are
used and why?
What do others say about the techniques and use of signs and
frame: cultural identity - race, class, gender, place;
art movements and styles;
influence of scientific and artistic practice; influence of
politics and economics; symbols
relating to culture
Ask yourself: What does it show you about the culture or society?
What do others say about the artist, influences, style or meaning?
frame: use of words or images from the past for a new
purpose or in a new way;
mass media, popular culture; new, non-traditional media and
• Critical study
Ask yourself: Have past art works been used in a new way (appropriated)?
Is it a new form
What do others say about the ideas, appropriations, art form,