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Introduction: What is Art History?

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction: What is Art History?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction: What is Art History?
Prepared by: Ma. Anna Corina G. Kagaoan Instructor College of Arts and Sciences

2 What is Art History? A story of art that stretches back to the earliest forms of visual expression by humans. Art can be in the form of an object or a building. It can consist of a monumental mural glorifying a wealthy Renaissance pope or a Stone Age cave painting that was likely never even viewed as art by its makers. Art historians examine works of art from many different angles—historical and cultural contexts in which art comes into being, artistic or period styles, the manipulation of materials, the subject matter with its overt or hidden meanings.

3 Art in Context The core of art history is the investigation of art in its context. Anyone can appreciate art for its context. The impression on a particular work of art will be highly enhanced or affected by the context for which it was made. Case of Jack Tworkov, an Abstract Expressionist.

4 Style The most concrete and intangible of all of the components of an artwork. It is the signature look of an artist’s work. It enables us to distinguish works of different artists from one another. The distinctive mode of expression that results from an individual’s manipulation of the elements and principles of art and design. Artists’ styles might be consistent over time, changing in an internally consistent manner, or move in radically different directions.

5 Jack Tworkov Fig Untitled, 1931 Fig Watergame, 1955 Fig L-SF-ES-#3, 1979 His early work exhibits a certain realism or naturalism along with a fluid hand (Fig. 1-1). In the mid-1940s and 1950s, he was working in the abstract expressionist idiom, combining broad gestural brushstrokes with a mixed palette (Fig. 1-2). When he moved toward geometric abstraction, he relied on mathematical relationships to organize his pictorial space (Fig. 1-3).

6 Style Artists can be said to work more broadly in a linear style, a painterly style, a realistic style, or an abstract style. Use of the word style describes the relationship between the artist’s concepts and approach to the medium. Style also refers to a recurrence of artistic or pictorial similarities among artists working within a group or during a specific historical timeframe. One of the best ways to illustrate stylistic differences is to choose a group of works with a common theme.

7 Approaches to Style Representational or figurative. Art that portrays, however altered or distorted, things perceived in the visible world. Realistic. Portraying people and things as they are seen by the eye or really thought to be, without idealization or distortion. Expressionistic. Works are emotional, often combining distortions of color or shape or line to more accurately communicate the inner life or personal vision of the artist. Abstract. Characterized by a simplified or distorted rendering of an object that references the essential nature of that object. Nonobjective. Makes no reference to visible reality.

8 Basic Components of a Work of Art
Subject Matter. Form. Content. Iconography.

9 Subject Matter The story that the work is telling, or the scene that it depicts, or the figures or objects it represents in visual terms. It is the what of a work of art. It can include portraits, landscapes, still life paintings of flowers or fruits, historical events, biblical or mythological stories, the human figure, and more. Abstract paintings or sculptures do not have subjects, or stories per se. Their content is described in terms of their elements, design principles, the artistic process, and composition.

10 Form It is the how of a work of art.
The all-encompassing framework or artistic expression. It is the general structure and overall organization of a composition. It signifies the totality of technical means and materials employed by the artist, as well as all of the visual strategies and pictorial devices used to express and communicate. It is the work of art as a whole.

11 Content Comes close to being the why of a work of art in that it includes what we might consider the reasons behind its appearance. It implies subject matter but is a much bigger concept. It contains the idea, the cultural and artistic contexts and the meaning of a work of art. Symbols are a key component, even if they are unapparent to many or most viewers. Symbols are images that stand for ideas underlying that which is actually seen.

12 Iconography The study of the themes and symbols in the visual arts—the figures and images that lend works their underlying meanings. Awareness of the symbolism enriches the viewing experience. It contains the idea, the cultural and artistic contexts and the meaning of a work of art. Symbols are a key component, even if they are unapparent to many or most viewers. Symbols are images that stand for ideas underlying that which is actually seen.

13 Basic Ingredients of Art
Visual Elements. Principles of Design. Medium.

14 Visual Elements Line. Serves as an essential building block of art, but can serve as the content itself of a work of art, or be manipulated to evoke an emotional or intellectual response from a viewer. Shapes. Distinct areas within a composition that have boundaries separating them from what surrounds them in two-dimensional art. In sculpture and other three-dimensional forms of art, it is the essential visual element. Value. Refers to the blacks and whites in a work of art, as well as the contrasts between lights and shades. Texture. Used to heighten the sense of realism in a work. It can also create psychological links to our sense of touch; smooth textures attract while rough textures repel. Motion. Occurs through time—the 4th dimension—as well as space. May be implied or suggested in static works or built into works.

15 Visual Elements Color. Helps define images or areas in a work of art. It can be used to replicate that which is seen by the human eye or to suggest the artist’s emotional response to a subject. The wavelength of light determines its color, or hue. gray The visible spectrum consists of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which can be wrapped around in a wheel (Fig. 1-4). Colors on the green-blue side are considered cool in “temperature,” while colors on the yellow-orange-red side are considered warm. Warm colors advance toward the picture plane while cool colors recede. Saturation is the color’s pureness. Pure hues have greatest intensity or brightness. This decreases when black, gray, or white is added. Shades of a given hue are created by adding black while tints by adding white. Fig Color Wheel

16 Visual Elements Space or illusion of depth. An age-old challenge for artists to be created. Some painters have recreated, on a two-dimensional surface, vistas that appear to recede from the picture plane many miles into the distance. In sculpture or architecture, we refer to objects that either exist in space or encompass it. A sculpture-in-the-round or free-standing in one that you can walk round and view from different angles, it is three-dimensional. A relief sculpture is two-dimensional and describes the carving on a slab of stone or wood. For this, the space they depict is highlighted. Artists of the Renaissance were the first to canonize perspective techniques in theory and practice. Foremost is Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks.

17 Madonna of the Rocks Overlapping. An illusion that one object is placed in front of more distant objects, obscuring part or all of the distant objects. In Fig. 1-5, the figure in red is perceived to be kneeling behind the baby in the right foreground. Atmospheric perspective. Illusion of depth is enhanced by texture gradient, brightness gradient, color saturation and the manipulation of warm and cool colors. Texture gradient relies on the fact that closer objects are perceived as having rougher or more detailed surfaces. Less texture for distant objects. Fig Madonna of the Rocks

18 Madonna of the Rocks Brightness gradient effect makes use of lesser intensity in distant objects. Less saturated hues for distant colors. Chiaroscuro. Technique perfected by da Vinci employing contrasts of light and shadow through subtle gradations of tone. Makes it appear three- dimensional. Relative size. Farther objects appear smaller. Linear perspective. Line in a composition converge at one, two, or three vanishing points on an imaginary horizon line (a line at eye level to the viewer). Parallel lines appear to converge as they move into the distance away from a fixed point—like looking at railroad tracks. Fig Madonna of the Rocks

19 Principles of Design The visual strategies used by artists, in conjunction with the elements of art, for expressive purposes. They include: Unity. Has the effect of gathering parts of a composition into a harmonious whole. Variety. Adds visual interest to a composition. It is the counterpart of unity. Emphasis and focal point. Draws and holds the viewer’s eye on certain parts of a work. Balance. Brings visual stability to a work of art. Rhythm. Conveys a sense of orderly progression among the parts of the work. Predictable rhythm can have a calming effect while sudden changes can be disconcerting. Scale. The work’s size in relation to the viewers. Within the work, it refers to the size relationships of images and objects. Proportions. How parts relate to the whole work.

20 Medium The materials used in the art making process and this list can be as long as one’s imagination. Usually in two-dimensional media or three-dimensional mediums. Artists have found ways to suggest the fourth dimension of time or have done so literally by creating compositions that change before the viewer’s eyes as time passes. Artistic techniques are methods or vehicles by which media are controlled and applied.

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