art appreciation quiz 1

A contemporary term but one that is really old as time. It describes the attempts by any artist, craftsperson, shaman, or any human to put their mark on something, to announce their existence in the world. In artwork, markmaking can be done using almost any device-pencil, paintbrush, awl, clay tool, scraper, knife, carver….and using any medium-graphite, paint, clay, chalk, dirt…. Some people say mark making is what differentiates humans from animals. The desire to make a mark indicates higher brain function-to create meaning.

visual literacy
being educated in the language and terminology of the visual arts.

the art of evaluating or analyzing with knowledge and propriety works of art or literature; to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly.

two dimensional
Height by width; a flat surface ie: drawing paper or canvas

three dimensional
Height by width by depth. If we say a work of art is three-dimensional, we mean that it is fully articulated in space-that is to say it can be viewed from any angle and exists in the viewer’s space. Usually, three-dimensional works can be walked around, yet there are artists (me, for one) who create 3-D works that are hung on the wall, and thus the back is not important.

picture plane
The flat, two-dimensional surface of a work of art, the “window”

pictorial depth
The aspect of composition on a two-dimensional plane (flat) in which a three-dimensional space is depicted. The illusion of depth on a 2-D surface. This ” depth” ranges from shallow to deep.

The organization or arrangement of the formal elements in a work of art.

Any materials used to create a work of art-the paint, pastel, graphite, clay, paper, bronze, glass, etc. The word media is the plural form.

form content process
3 components of artwork

The literal shape, mass, appearance, and look, of an object or figure. More generally, how the materials come together to make a work of art, the ways in which these materials are utilized in terms of the formal elements (line, light, color, etc.), and the composition that results.

The meaning of an image (artwork) beyond its subject matter.

How the work was created, the materials and media used (the paint, pastel, clay, bronze, paper, etc.). Also, the techniques and skills used to create work. Often, an artist’s process is a well-kept secret!

subject matter
literally the subject of an artwork-what the work is about: (For example, portrait, man plowing the fields, the signing of the Declaration, landscape, etc. It may be a painting of a shipwreck (the subject matter), but the meaning (content) is about the difficulties of life.

in any kind of creative endeavor, it is the story of what is being depicted, sung, described, written about…

In art, this term means the rendering of images and objects in a stylized or simplified way, yet they remain recognizable; the formal or expressive aspects are emphasized. Abstract is a relative term. Often when we speak of abstraction in the visual of arts, we must consider the DEGREE of abstraction. This is to say that abstraction exists on a continuum. At one end of the continuum something might be simplified but look almost realistic. Moving along the continuum, this object becomes MORE simplified-almost to the point of not being recognized. When an image is abstract, there is always some vestige of the natural world; otherwise, we would call it NON-OBJECTIVE .

The quality or state of being the “truth.” In the visual arts, this means that something looks life-like, or ‘real.’ (this can be used to talk about the degree of optical realism in a work of art).

The quality that makes a work of art appear close to or resemble the natural world-it looks ‘real,’ whatever that is. In general, this term is synonymous with representational. Naturalism also exists on a continuum. (this can be used to talk about the degree of optical realism in a work of art) (You might also say that naturalism, realism, and representationalism are interchangeable).

When an artwork is representational, it resembles something from the natural and visual world around us, that is, the world of natural appearance. (this can be used to talk about the degree of optical realism in a work of art).

An artwork that is realist also resembles the natural world, but once again, realism is a general term and exists on a continuum. In addition, there is a specific historical period in western art occurring in the 19th century called Realism (capital ‘R’). Don’t confuse these two.

Basically, there are 2 ways to talk about style. Artists have their own unique manner of visual expression that is distinct from others. It is consistent within context of their artistic output. This is called style. Within history, we can also say that a particular style dominates certain eras-this is because of the cultural and social factors that influence art and artmaking. Thus, Impressionism, for example, is a style occurring in France in the 19th century. But it appeared in other artists’ personal styles in the U. S. as well as many other countries during that same century. In fact, even in our time, some artists still use this style of painting.

The use of symbols to represent the invisible, intangible, or abstract (ie: God, death, birth, spirit, good/bad…)-t o represent many things. For example, a painter in the 15th century may paint a lily near the Virgin Mary in a scene. Historically, a lily has come to symbolize the purity of the Virgin. (St. .John the Baptist, halo–a holy person in Christian art…). Symbols vary from culture to culture and across history as well.

Literally, in its original Greek, the word means ‘image writing.’ Iconography is an area of art history that involves the study and interpretation of images and symbols. It often involves consideration of the symbol within context to the history and traditions of the culture in which the symbol exists. In other words, each culture’s iconography is unique and must be viewed within the context of that culture.

an artwork that is expressionistic, emphasizes the emotional and psychological content of the work. In general, to do this, artists often distort and personally interpret the formal tools like line and color. There is also an historical period in European 20th century art called Expressionism (capital ‘E’). Don’t confuse them.

mixed media
a contemporary term. Many artists today don’t stay within the confines of a single medium. Rather, they enjoy mixing their media. For instance, my art is 3-D paper sculpture that I paint and draw onto to get the surface to become interesting. I also add found objects into my sculptures. I would consider myself a mixed media artist.

found objects
any sort of natural or manufactured object that is not made by the artist but found by them and put into their artwork. This is an interesting way to let chance have a hand in the creation of your artwork.

A branch of Greek philosophy that deals with visual and/or sensory values-perhaps what we call ‘taste.’ Aesthetics pertain to what individuals find visually pleasing. In our culture, it may be said to pertain to what we consider ‘beautiful’ and by extension, to the appreciation of any form of art, whether it is ‘beautiful’ or not. Everyone forms their own aesthetics.

formal elements
the visual tools an artist uses to create a work of art. These include but are not limited to the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design.

29. formal analysis
Literally, analyzing the form of the art work. This means taking inventory of all the elements and tools used by an artist, considering the composition, and understanding how all these components are implemented to create meaning.

Studio art
the production of art

Art history
considering art & creative production from a historical point of view; drawing conclusions about artworks that are related culturally in time & place (style).

Art criticism
objectively considering the successes and/or failures of a work of art and judging it as successful (or not!).

Art appreciation
learning the language used in production & viewing of art in general; looking closely at works to understand how they are composed & if there is meaning; then making a decision about whether or not this is meaningful to you. ‘Appreciating’ something is an objective experience while ‘liking’ something is more subjective and possibly involves an emotional reaction to it.