We strive to weave our experiences into coherent bodies of knowledge and to communicate them.
ART, EXPERIENCE, AND MEMORY• Art has served to record and communicate experiences and events of individuals and collective groups of people.
The Meaning of the Word Art…1. Materiality – The materials used to make the work of art2. Process - The different forms of art such as drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography.3. Context – The direct or indirect information associated with the work of art.4. Space – The integration of a completed work of art into a specific location.Whatever the definition, it is important to know the vocabulary of art in order to understand it.
Some “Truths” About Art1. There is no agreed-upon definition of art.2. Art does not necessarily have to be beautiful.3. Art can be created for a variety of reasons.
The Philosophies About Art:Many philosophers have argued that art serves no function, that it exists for its own sake.Some have asserted that the essence of art transcends the human occupation with usefulness.Others have held that in trying to analyze art too closely, one loses sight of its beauty and wonderment.
Understanding and appreciating art…1. Look-Does it provide you with aesthetic pleasure?2. Read-Does it allow you to consider intention, purpose, process, etc?3. Understand-Does is motivate you to find additional context and meaning?
Art can make you think, feel, and cantrigger associations. The viewer may ponder the purpose of the artist, theemotions or activity of the subject, allwhile forming one’s own response to the piece.
Figure 1.1, p. 3: LEONARDO DA VINCI. Mona Lisa (c. 1503–1505). Oil on wood panel. 30 1/4” x 21”.
Figure 1.5: French performance artist Orlan, who has dedicated herself to embodying Western classicbeauty as found in the works of Leonardo, Botticelli, and Boucher through multiple plastic surgeries. Here Orlan is being “prepped” for one in a series of operations.
Figure 1.9, p. 7: ANDY WARHOL. Four Marilyns (1962). Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas. 30" × 23⅞".
Ongoing Questions:• Why is there no single answer to the question “what is art?”• Who forms the “audience” for works of art?• How does a work of art functiondifferently in contemporary culturethat historical culture?