Critical Response Lesson 4: Research

Creating an Informed Opinion
Willem de Kooning, Woman VI, 1953, Gift of G. David Thompson, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Students learn that an informed opinion comes from gathering a rich knowledge base and understanding the big picture. They use research, analysis, artistic methods and previously published opinions to compare and contrast different artistic styles.

Suggested Time Frame:

Handout: 40 minutes for each (x4), or use as homework and review in class
Class Review: 40 minutes

Total time frame: 2-5 classes  


  • Students will identify and describe different artistic styles
  • Students will explain differences in opinion regarding works of art
  • Students will compare and contrast two different styles of artwork
  • Students will analyze values held by different art movements
Rembrandt's Bathing Woman, 1654, was the source inspiration for de Kooning's Woman VI 
Rembrandt's Bathing Woman, 1654, was the source inspiration for de Kooning's Woman VI 

Handouts needed:

The following handouts are 
included in the Lesson PDF

Introduction to Artworks and StylesHistorical and Cultural Context
Formal Methods and Artists’ IdeasCritical Response


In order to have an informed opinion, one must have rich knowledge about the subject of the critique—and in this case, rich knowledge about the artworks. The four handouts included here will help students to comprehend and analyze the historical and cultural context in which the artworks were made, the artists’ methods and use of formal principals and conceptual ideas, as well as the critics who have already published opinions about the work.

Movie poster for Butterfield 8 starring Elizabeth Taylor
Movie poster for Butterfield 8 starring Elizabeth Taylor
  1. Print and photocopy the four handouts. Students should read each handout in order and answer the Comprehension and Analysis questions at the end of each handout.
  2. Many of our Learning Lab teachers used this time to explore production activities in class addressing formal principles of design with their students.

  3. Discuss the student responses to the questions after each reading.
  4. Save the student responses to Comprehension and Analysis questions to aid them in writing the final critique in lesson five.

Warhol Education Rubrics

Click the Warhol Rubric headers below to reveal associated rubrics to which this lesson applies.

Critical Thinking
Historical Context
Media and Related Items
Critical Response PowerPoint
Critical Response PowerPoint