Chapter 1: Art and Art Making
• Humans make art to understand life, to communicate emotions and ideas, or to create
• There are ways to understand and appreciate art
*Definition of Art:
Art is primarily visual medium used to express ideas about our human experience and the world
Art can be understood focusing on:
• Visual Form (Formal = Shape)
*AESTHETICS … the study of visual language
Or more specifically the study of how things appear, our collective tastes, and how images
1. A Branch of Philosophy
2. The Study of Creativity
Functions of Art:
• Assists in rituals
• Reflects customs
• Helps us imagine the divine
Art has visual form: allows the work to be seen or touched, and ideas to be communicated.
Visual Form is the language of art.
Visual Form includes:
The formal elements
Art is not a universal and fixed definition.
Aesthetics change over time.
Birth of Venus *Les Demoiselles d’Avigon is thought by many to be the first real painting of the Modernism era.
Aesthetics Change by Geographic area and culture.
• In Nigeria, the sculpture reinforces the king’s power. (Olowe of Ise)
• In ancient Rome, the sculpture also reinforces the ruler’s power. (Equestrian Statue
of Marcus Aurelius)
Art and Style Vocabulary:
• Art is representational when it contains entities from the world in recognizable form.
• A related term, naturalistic refers to recognizable imagery depicted as seen in nature.
• Idealized Art
• Expressive or Expressionist styles of art communicate
• Heightened emotions
• A sense of urgency or spontaneity
• Expressive Styles:
Surreal refers to art that:
Contains bizarre or
Abstract or Non-Objective Art:
• Abstract Art is the same as “nonobjective”.
• Abstracted imagery may or may not be recognizable, but derived from reality by distorting,
enlarging, and/or dissecting from nature.
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.
Refers to the distinguishing characteristics of an artist’s work.
*Mme. Ginoux ... van Gogh (Portrait of Mme. Ginoux) vs Gauguin (Woman in a coffee
Art is part of a visual culture; part of the vast amount of imagery that humans create and
A category of objects considered to be among the highest cultural ac