What is Art? Britannica Online defines art as: "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.“ Visual Art has been defined as a language of visual signs which conveys ideas, feelings, or moods.
The Meaning of the Word Art… The word art encompasses many meanings, including ability, process, and product. Ability - The human capacity to make things of beauty and things that stir us; skill, mastery, and creativity. Process - The different classifications of art such as drawing, painting, sculpting, architecture, music, and photography; methods and processes. Product - The completed work; painting, sculpture, . . Whatever the definition, it is important to know the vocabulary of art in order to understand it.
How is Visual Art Classified? Traditional and contemporary art encompasses activities as diverse as: painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, illustration, cartoons, ceramics, stained glass, photography, installation, video, film, and architecture, to name a few.
Style Over time, an artist’s body of work can reveal an expressive character unique to the individual artist, like a signature. This expressive quality is known as an artistic style. Individual Style is the characteristic manner of expression used by a particular artist. For each piece, the artist makes choices about the structure, media (materials and tools), techniques (methods of using the media), and treatment of subject matter that will best express his or her idea. Young artists are often tempted to prematurely impose a style on their work, instead of allowing it to mature naturally. However, they must remember— just like a signature—one’s expressive style truly only develops through time and repeated practice. Some styles, once unique to individual artists, have been adopted by generations of artists and have broader historical application. Period style is the general characteristics common to much of the work from given period of time or cultural phase. Regional style is the manner of expression common in the work of artists working in the same country or area. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, artists often confounded the public by the increasingly abstract treatment of subject matter. Contemporary artists, too, make expressive choices that the public often doesn’t understand or find personally relevant. In many cases, a single artist’s style changes as his or her body of work develops and grows. One prime example is the work of Piet Mondrian whose final style has influenced artists in other fields.
Art Expresses Religious Beliefs Hagia Sophia Istanbul, Turkey Christ Pantocrator Byzantine Art
Art Expresses Fantasy Marc Chagal, I and the Village, (1911) oil on canvas
Art and the Psychoanalytic Many 20th Century artists looked to the psychoanalytic writings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, who suggested that primeval forces are at work in the unconscious reaches of the mind. Artist’s sought to use their art as an outlet for these unconscious forces.
0 ART, INTELLECT, AND EMOTION Art can make you think. Art can make you feel. Art can trigger associations.
Art Simulates the Intellect Buckminster Fuller stands in front of his geodesic dome Leonardo. Polyhedron
Art Creates Order and Harmony Ictinos and Callicrates, The Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens Application of the Golden Section Design - The combination of the visual elements according to principles of design such as proportion and harmony.
0 Art is harmony.–Georges Seurat Artists and scientists try to find the underlying order of nature. Zen - A Buddhist sect that seeks inner harmony through introspection and meditation.
Ryoanji Zen Temple, Japanese sand garden, Kyoto, Japan.
Art Protests Injustice Eugene Deacroix. Liberty Leading the People oil on canvas Allegory - A narrative in which people and events have consistent symbolic meanings; extended metaphor.
Conceptual Art Conceptual art does not represent an external object. It also challenges the traditional view of the artist as creative visionary, skilled craftsperson, and master of ones media. The “art” lies in the artist’s concept or idea.
Art Elevates the Commonplace Readymade – found objects that are exhibited as works of art Assemblage – a work of art that consists of assembled three-dimensional objects Duchamp. Fountain
Art Elevates the Commonplace Gustave Courbet. The Stonebreakers, oil on canvas
Art Reflects the Social and Cultural Context Edward Hopper. Night Hawks (1942) oil on canvas
Art Meets the Needs of the Artist Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Gates, Central Park, New York, NY 2005 Christo. The Gates drawing
Underlying Core Concepts Light – that form of radiant energy which simulates visual perception, illumination (value, color, hue, neutral, tone, key, tint, shade, shadow, highlight, modeling, chiaroscuro) Space – the environment in which all things exist (line, shape, mass, length, width, size, area, measurement, depth, volume, dimension, proportion, scale) Time – period of duration, fourth dimension (duration, motion, moment, date)
Other Key Terms Composition - The act or organizing or composing the visual elements of art. Design - The combination of the visual elements of art according to principles of design such as balance and unity. Form - The organization of the visual elements in a work of art.
Looking at Art Is this art? Why or why not? What elements does it have or not have? Monet. Water Lilies oil paint
0 COMPARE & CONTRAST The Piano Lesson(s) by Matisse and Bearden
HENRI MATISSE. Piano Lesson (1916). Oil on canvas. 8’ x 6’11 “ ROMARE BEARDEN. Piano Lesson (1983). Oil with Collage. 29” x 22”