Artistic Perspective

  • 2001
  • Color offset lithograph
  • Image (irregular): 20 3/8 x 28½ inches (51.8 x 72.4 cm); Sheet: 22 x 29¾ inches (55. 9 x 75.6 cm)
  • 2009-61-68
About the Print

This image is all about Texas. The state is colored yellow to distinguish it from the neighboring areas, which are more pink, brown, or blue. The map does not name Texas cities or roads; instead round insets indicate various sculpture sites around the state.

What’s wrong with this picture? Texas is presented accurately, including the art sites, but everything else should be questioned. This tongue-in-cheek artwork challenges geography as we know it. Here, Texas stretches north to Illinois and west to California. The blue Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean are shifted westward, their waters teeming with aquatic life, mythological beings, and vessels from assorted historical eras. Out of scale, Texas extends north and south, seemingly beyond the map’s edges. New Mexico and Arizona are reversed, and Mexico appears only below California. With humor, Artistic Perspective confirms that an individual’s point of view shapes and informs how she or he sees the world.

“A growing concern for the survival of nature and a need to understand the relationship of people to the landscape has encouraged me to explore nature-related themes.”

Anna Marie Pavlik

Let's Look
  • Start with the water. What do you see?
  • Now look at the land. How many US states can you identify?
  • Which state seems to be the most important? How did the artist express that?
  • The artist included small, circular pictures that highlight art and attractions in Texas. Can you identify any of them?
  • What does this map reveal about the artist's point of view about Texas?
  • If you were going to make a map about your city or state, what would you highlight?

Anna Marie Pavlik

American
Born Pittsburgh, 1952
Photograph by Richard Rosen
About the Artist

Anna Marie Pavlik spent most of her early years in Minnesota. In college she earned a degree in studio arts and later earned a degree in mechanical engineering. As a printmaker, Pavlik explores themes about nature and how people relate to the environment. Maps and other views of natural sites are frequently incorporated into her work as she seeks to draw attention to “the irreplaceable value, sublime beauty and mystery found within our natural environment.” When she made the print Artistic Perspective, she was living in Texas.
She currently lives and works in Kentucky.

Curriculum Connections

Suggested Topics for Art Projects, Group Discussion, and Independent Writing

Art

Point of View

Use a computer to make a brochure that points out important features of your state, city, or neighborhood, emphasizing those you think are most essential. Pavlik visited some of the places she highlighted in her print and used a guidebook about historic sites and art in Texas to pick out others. Do online research to find out more history, art, and attractions you might want to include in your brochure.

Scale

Imagine yourself feeling very large or very small in a space, either physically or psychologically. Create a drawing, painting, collage, or print that expresses how you feel. The work could be abstract or realistic.

Language Arts

Point of View

What does the artist's fanciful map reveal about her perspective on Texas? Cite evidence from the image.

In Your Opinion

"A growing concern for the survival of nature and a need to understand the relationship of people to the landscape has encouraged me to explore nature-related themes."
Consider Pavlik's quote about her artwork. Does Artistic Perspective reflect the spirit of her words? How? If not, why not?

Social Studies

Find the Facts

Find an accurate map of the United States and compare it to Pavlik's. What is the same? What is not? What's the most distorted feature about Pavlik's map? Track your findings on a Venn diagram.