Matrix concept

Coming to terms with the wide array of works and styles in the art world is a challenge at times, this “matrix” MAY provide some useful starting points for us to explore with. Where do you “fit” as an Artist? Using the comments facility at the end of the post, feel free to add information I can use to improve this.

Note it is intended to provide a guide to appreciating various “categories” of art in the market place rather than a device to indicate if a style “better than another”. Perhaps it’s “best” use may be for a beginning investor or collector wanting to appreciate what they are looking at and if it may have a possibility of increasing in value due to critical and or peer review.


This “matrix” has been through several versions starting at No: 7 (the previous 6 were for my eyes only and took a while to gain a format which I felt worked for a wider public audience.) this one is currently version 9.1.


Analytical Frameworks

I have just been introduced to the Visual Art Analytical Frameworks which is a device utilised to analyse artworks for students studying Visual Art at VCE (Australia) levels. This framework device looks at four areas to analyse works buy and it can offer readers of the matrix another way of exploring artworks, I would like to think the two could be utilised together to enable a faster understanding and greater depth of analysis could happen.

1. The Formal Framework – Visual analysis – Technique – Style – Symbolism and metaphor.

2. The Personal Framework – Reflects the artists life – Links to other aspects which may relate to the artists life.

3. The Cultural Framework – The influences of time and place – Connections to contexts and cultural purposes.

4. The Contemporary Framework – Exploring contemporary issues.

If you were to follow these frameworks for analysing artworks I guess it would be possible to negate various aspects of hobby and simple decorative work and find yourself wanting more from an art piece when you realise there is more to be had than just the formal framework. A viewer could do well to use these four points in discussing works with artists and soon be able to asses the merit or otherwise of the artist and their works.

I would love to hear from students, artists and general readers about the four points listed, the matrix and or the whole lot! (check out the comments section at the bottom of the page, its a simple link.)

Copyright © Steve Gray 2011+


8 Responses to “Matrix concept”

  1. Anthony Smith on February 4th, 2010 9:02 am

    Thank you for your time and dedication, Wow so comprehensive. Will use it and pass it on.

    Non Verbal communication could go on the list, but is it covered in this part of your list below

    “Assist us to be more comfortable using many different symbol systems (verbal, mathematical, visual, auditory and kinesthetic.”


  2. Analyse this - Slide show idea for Teachers : ArtStuff on June 7th, 2010 8:56 pm

    […] For more points to discuss and analyse with try this. or this… […]

  3. MrLich on July 17th, 2011 12:09 am

    This matrix is great – thank you for sharing it with us!

    Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but could you post a larger version of it? The font size is a little small if you want to zoom in a bit on a larger monitor.

    Thanks again!

  4. Steve on July 17th, 2011 8:43 pm

    I will check out a PDF file for this soon, having a few techo issues to sort out. STAY tuned! 🙂

  5. What is art? : ArtStuff on August 5th, 2011 11:06 am

    […] this information with this article and you might just develop a solid starting point to appreciating what this art thing […]

  6. Harsh Lommba on October 19th, 2011 7:46 pm

    Very precise and very informative! You have covered the whole spectrum with such ease including ideas, imagination, influences and techniques! Thank you so much.

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