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1- A HUMAN PHENOMENON

The definition of art:


ways we describe
and categorize it.

What is Art?

Art is A Human Phenomenon!

For the United States in the 21rst


century.
Art is a primarily visual medium
that is used to express ideas
about our human experience
and the world around us.

Tim Hawkinson. Bear, 2005. 23' 6" high, 370,000 lbs.


Stuart Collection,
University of California, San Diego

What is art for whom and when?


Art is whatever a
society
or a culture
says is art.
Not a universal or fixed
definition.
Fluctuates, because
cultures
are alive and
changing.

Functions of Art

Assists in rituals
Reflects customs
Communicates
Helps us imagine

Protests political
and social

Celebrates war
and conquest

Commemorates the
dead

Promotes cohesion
Records likenesses
Educates us

Glorifies the state

Entertains us

the divine

ART HAS VISUAL FORM - allows the work to be seen or touched,


and ideas to be communicated.

Visual form includes:


formal elements, line, shape,
the color,
texture, mass, volume, space.
the arrangement of
composition,
formal elements.

materials from which the artwork


is made.

In Nigeria, this sculpture was meant to


reinforce the power
of the local king.
1.2 Olowe of Ise. Veranda Post: Female
Caryatid and Equestrian Figure, Yoruba,
before 1938. Wood, pigment, 71" high.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This sculpture was also meant to


reinforce the rulers power, but in
Ancient Rome.
1.3 Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, Rome, c. 175 CE.
Bronze, approx. 11' 6" high. Musei Capitolini, Rome.

Art has content - ideas associated with each artwork.


Content communicated through:

Imagery
symbolic meaning
where it is used or displayed
customs, beliefs, and values
of the culture

writings that explain the work

1.4 Sandro Botticelli. The Birth of Venus, Italy, c. 1482.

Some content is obvious, some hidden.

Artwork reflects the cultural


moment it was made.
This painting was made
during the modern era.

1.5, above Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles dAvignon,


Spain/France, 1907. Oil on canvas, 8' 7' 8".
The Museum of Modern Art, NY

Some content is obvious, some hidden.

1.6, left Ceremonial Mask known as a Mboom or


Bwoom, Kuba, Central Zaire, 19th20th centuries.
Wood, beads, shells, cloth. Head-sized. Museum of
Central Africa, Tervuren.

Influences can cross cultures. The works of modern artists such as


Pablo Picasso were influenced by African masks.

Aesthetics
a branch of philosophy
dealing
with art, its sources,
forms, and effects.

beyond individual tastes


orgoes
preferences.

is a critical reflection on art.


reflects the cultures
preferences.
1.7 Lotus Flowers and Ducks, China, 13th
century. Hanging scroll. Paint on silk, 50.4"
30.7". Museum fuer Ostasiatische Kunst,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin.

CREATING ART

Perception - focused and


concentrated
looking.
Response - reflects the
artists
responses to their
life experiences and the
world around them.
Expression - art is the
expression
of the artists
perception and response.

This artwork provides a spiritual


experience within the culture of Hinduism.

This artwork provides a spiritual experience, framed within


Japanese culture and the spiritual tradition of Buddhism.
1.8, above Zen Stone Garden, Japan, 11921333. Kamakura period. Daitokuji Temple, Kyoto.

The Zen Stone Garden and the


Gopura both instill a sense of
spiritual awareness in very
different ways.

Artistic Creativity
Creativity allows us to originate
something or to cause some
object to come into being.
What that means exactly can
vary from culture to culture.

1.10 Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Genesis, 1993. Oil,


collage, mixed media on canvas, 5' 8' 4". Museum of
Art, Atlanta. Top-right
Mother and Nursing Child (see Fig. 7.32)

Today, in the United States


creativity has 2 essential
ingredients.

innovation
self-expression

1.17 Tim Hawkinson. Bear, 2005. 23' 6" high,


370,000 lbs. Stuart Collection,
University of California, San Diego.

Art is often innovative and unique, while at the same


time borrowing from existing styles and symbols.

1.11 Mwashamboy (kneeling) and Bwoom (standing) maskers in


a royal ceremony among the Kuba. Late 20th century.
Democratic Republic of Congo.

CATEGORIES OF VISUAL ARTS


Art may not be the same in all cultures.
The art of the masquerade is important in Africa,
but not in North America.

Crafts are sometimes

distinguished from art.

This rug is an example of an


object that could be classified
as fine art or craft.

1.18 Gheordez Prayer Rug, Turkey, 18th century.


White mihrab (prayer niche) with two Turkish floral
columns. Wool, height 65 3/4", width 48 3/4".
Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria.

Craft

refers to specific
media,
ceramics, glass,
jewelry, weaving, and
woodworking

involves making
objects
rather than
images.

objects often have a


utilitarian
purpose.

Stylistic Categories
Style is the manner of artistic expression:

of an individual artist
of a historic period
of an entire civilization.
A rose is a rose,
but styles of representation
of it are not necessarily the same.

Style Vocabulary
Naturalistic
recognizable
imagery

that is depicted as seen in


nature.

Representational
contains
entities from
the world in
recognizable form.

1.19 Mary Cassatt. Mother and Child, 1897.


Pastel on paper, 21" 17 3/4".
Muse dOrsay, Paris.

Fig. 1.2

Fig. 1.3

Idealized art - natural imagery is modified,


strives for perfection within the bounds,
and aesthetics of a particular culture.

values

The Veranda Post (Fig. 1.2) and the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius (Fig. 1.3)

Both rendered in idealized styles.

1.4 Sandro Botticelli. The


Birth of Venus, Italy, c. 1482.

Classical Art

art that is orderly, balanced, clear, well proportioned.


describes a point in the evolution of styles
represents the full development of a certain style.
(with a capital C), refers specifically to art made in Greece
BCE.

in the 5th C.

1.20 Wassily Kandinsky. Jngster Tag


(Last Judgment), 1912. Underglass
painting with ink and color, 13 1/4" 17
1/2". Muse National dArt Moderne,
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Expressive or expressionist styles of art communicate:

heightened emotions
a sense of urgency or spontaneity.

Expressive styles:

appear bold and immediate


feature distorted, abstracted imagery
appear asymmetrical
have textured surfaces, thick paint application

Surreal refers to art that:

contains bizarre or fantastic arrangements


of images or materials.
taps the workings of the unconscious mind.

1.21, Meret Oppenheim. Object (Le


Dejeuner en fourrure), 1936. Fur-covered
cup, saucer, and spoon. Cup, 4 3/8"
diameter; saucer, 9 3/8" diameter; spoon,
8" long; overall height, 2 7/8". The Museum
of Modern Art, New York.

Non-objective Art contains


imagery generated by the artist.
art is the same
asAbstract
nonobjective,
important distinction
Abstracted imagery may or
may
not be recognizable, but
derived from reality by
distorting, enlarging, and/or
dissecting from nature.

Frank Stellas Abra III (Fig. 1.22), 1968

Cultural styles are apparent when studying a particular art form


that appears globally.

Islamic mosques are built globally.


Local solutions are different from each other.

Fig.1.23

Fig. 1.24

Compare the Grand Mosque at Djenne, in Mali, Africa (Fig.1.23)


with the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan (Fig. 1.24).
Both are dramatic buildings with towers, each design
influenced by cultural preferences and building materials.

Artists Styles

refers to the distinguishing characteristics


of an artists work.

1.25, left Vincent van Gogh. Portrait of Mme. Ginoux (LArlesienne), 1889. Oil on canvas. 23 1/2"
19 1/2". Galleria Nazionale dArte Moderna, Rome.

Note the similarities and differences


between Paul Gauguins and Vincent van
Goghs paintings of Madame Ginoux.