What Is Formalism?

By Dr. Betty Ann Brown

Formalism refers to a way of creating, viewing and interpreting art that focuses on the visual elements and principles of design, disregarding politics, historical context, content and the artist. Use the formalist approach to evaluating various artworks with information from an art historian, critic and curator in this free video on art.

About the Author

Betty Ann Brown is an art historian, critic and curator. She received a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1977, where she studied Pre-Columbian art. Brown has worked as a contributing editor for Arts and Artweek and the Los Angeles Reader, has written frequently for Artscene and was founding editor of Visions, the Los Angeles art quarterly. Her "GradivaĆ­s Mirror: Reflections on Women, Surrealism & Art History," a series of essays on Surrealist artists, won the 2003 Cal State Northridge Award for Outstanding Scholarly Publication. Brown is currently working on a textbook titled "Art & Mass Media" (Kendall Hunt Publishers) and teaches art history at Cal State University Northridge.