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Making sense of art history

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You can prepare for this free course, Making sense of art history, by looking around you. It's likely that wherever you are you'll be able to see some images. It's also likely that many of these will be intended to have some sort of effect on you. In the course itself you will be exploring the power of images via a study of contemporary art from the 1980s onwards. Taking the time to look beyond the immediate appearance of an art work to consider what the artist might be trying to say can be immensely rewarding.

Studying this unit will:

  • enable you to develop your ability to identify the effects of art works;
  • introduce you to a range of artistic techniques, such as the use of colour, composition and medium;
  • enable you to explore the relationship between effects and techniques in a range of art works;
  • enable you to explore some of the factors involved in interpreting meaning;
  • enable you to explore the significance of context in informing the interpretation of art works;
  • enable you to further develop your study skills.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 5 hours
  • Updated Monday 17th March 2014
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under History & The Arts
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Making sense of art history

Learning outcomes

Unit image

Studying this unit will:

  • enable you to develop your ability to identify the effects of art works;

  • introduce you to a range of artistic techniques, such as the use of colour, composition and medium;

  • enable you to explore the relationship between effects and techniques in a range of art works;

  • enable you to explore some of the factors involved in interpreting meaning;

  • enable you to explore the significance of context in informing the interpretation of art works;

  • enable you to further develop your study skills.

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