Alan Goldstein, Upriver from Lumberville Walking Bridge II, ca. 1981, oil on canvas, James A. Michener Art Museum, purchased with funds provided by Anne and Joseph Gardocki

Tip #7 – A work of art can improve skills in looking and seeing. 

Take a moment to look closely at the work by Alan Goldstein entitled Upriver from Lumberville Walking Bridge II. Does it look like any other painting you have seen before? This is an example of abstract art, which is a style of art that may be inspired by real life objects but does not represent them in a realistic way. To create an abstract work, perhaps the artist will paint from a new angle, he or she will pick out colors or shapes to focus on, or change the appearance of what they are looking at. Goldstein’s work is abstract, but it incorporates concrete references to the visible landscape. Goldstein said he wants to create a suggestion of the Bucks County landscape without, “…handing everyone all the information.”

Use the following questions below to help guide you in closer looking at this work of art.

Looking Questions:

  • What do you see in this work? Write down all the details.
  • Identify the shapes and the colors that you see.
  • This artist was inspired by the local landscape in creating his composition. What elements in the painting convey this?
  • Does anything look familiar to you? Explain your answer.
  • Does the title of the work help you understand the painting? Why or why not?

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