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Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts / Edition 1

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Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts presents a compelling argument that the creative and cultural inquiry undertaken by artists is a form of research. The text explores themes, practices, and contexts of artistic inquiry and positions them within the discourse of research. Author Graeme Sullivan argues that legitimate research goals can be achieved by choosing different methods than those offered by the social sciences. The common denominator in both approaches is the attention given to rigor and systematic inquiry. Artists emphasize the role of the imaginative intellect in creating, criticizing, and constructing knowledge that is not only new but also has the capacity to transform human understanding.
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Editorial Reviews

Dipti Desai
“Sullivan challenges our assumptions about what constitutes research practices and in doing so presents a ground-breaking analysis for visual arts practice as research. This compelling image-text book opens the possibilities for the construction of new forms of knowledge in our increasingly visual world.”
Pradeep Dhillon
“Sullivan provides a timely and excellent introduction to the emerging field of visual cognition and educational research.”
Jessica Hoffman Davis
“In this rich and layered reflection on visual arts practice as research, Graeme Sullivan launches a passionate and convincing case that rewrites the definitions of ‘art’ and ‘research’ as it unapologetically claims for the visual arts the respect and admiration of the academy.”
Rita L. Irwin
Art Practice as Research is long overdue. Graeme Sullivan eloquently crafts a methodology text and articulates for contemporary visual artist-researchers how arts practices are, in fact, rich forms of research inquiry.”
Doug Blandy
“Sullivan’s text is an important addition to the literature associated with research, critical inquiry, and arts education. I wish that such a text would have been available at the time that I was working on my dissertation. I will recommend it to my graduate students and colleagues.”
Choice Magazine - W.S. Johnson
"Sullivan has writen a complex, closely reasoned, and very detailed dargument about a topic that, at first glance, seems superfluous to anyone who has ever had the good fortune to observe serious artists seriously engaged in making their art... Sullivan has created an excellent, even poetic, excercise in his own endeavor to share his understandings of the creative process."
Folkert Haanstra
"I can recommend Sullivan's book for those who want a thorough overview of the field of inquiry in the visual arts. It is well structured and Sullivan presents many examples toillustrate his arguments."
Patricia M. Hancock
"Art Practice As Research is encyclopedic in depth and scope of material supporting the author's vital thesis, and the vision of studio art as fully acknowledged academic research, may be elusive as the dragonfly."
Susan Paterson
"The book eloquently explains research practices found in the art studio and argues that visual art research is grounded in the practices that come from art itself. This profound and visionary book . . . is an essential text for every research student of art and art education in art schools and schools of education."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412905367
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Graeme is Director of the School of Visual Arts, Penn State University, and Professor of Art Education. He is the former Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University. He received both his PhD and MA in Art Education from The Ohio State University. Since the early 1990s his research has involved an ongoing investigation of thinking processes in visual arts and studio-based research practices. These ideas and approaches are described in the new edition of Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts ( Graeme has published widely in the field of art education and in 1990 received the Manual Barkan Memorial Award for scholarly writing, and the 2007 Lowenfeld Award for significant contribution to the field of art education, both from the National Art Education Association. Graeme is also the author of Seeing Australia: Views of Artists and Artwriters (1994). Graeme maintains an active art practice and his Streetworks ( have been installed in several international cities and sites over the past fifteen years.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reviewing Visual Arts Research - Graeme Sullivan
Changing Demands of Visual Arts Theory and Practice - Graeme Sullivan
Limitations of Current Visual Research Methodologies - Graeme Sullivan
Art Practice as Research - Graeme Sullivan
Strategies for Using Art Practice as Research - Graeme Sullivan
Part 1: Contexts for Visual Arts Research
Contexts For Visual Arts Research - Graeme Sullivan
1. Pigment to Pixel - Graeme Sullivan
The Enlightenment as a Research Project - Graeme Sullivan
Promise of Progress - Graeme Sullivan
Fractured Realities - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
2. Paradigms Lost - Graeme Sullivan
Method as Truth - Graeme Sullivan
Doubting Doctrines - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
Part 2: Theorizing Visual Arts Practice - Graeme Sullivan
3. Explanation, Understanding, and Beyond - Graeme Sullivan
Theorizing in Practice - Graeme Sullivan
Theorizing Visual Arts as Practice-Based Research - Graeme Sullivan
Theorizing Art Practice as Transformative Research - Graeme Sullivan
Visual Arts Research Practices - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
4. Visual Knowing - Graeme Sullivan
Visual Cognition - Graeme Sullivan
Thinking Practices in the Visual Arts - Graeme Sullivan
Visual Arts Knowing: A Framework - Graeme Sullivan
Visual Arts as Transcognitive Practice - Graeme Sullivan
A Case Study: Critical Influence - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
5. Artist as Theorist - Graeme Sullivan
Sites of Practice - Graeme Sullivan
Reemergence of the Artist-Theorist - Graeme Sullivan
Critical Perspectives and Practices - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
Part 3: Visual Arts Research Practices - Graeme Sullivan
6. Practice as Theory - Graeme Sullivan
A Framework for Visual Arts Research Projects - Graeme Sullivan
Visual Practice: Experiences - Graeme Sullivan
Empirical Inquiry: Exercises - Graeme Sullivan
Interpretive Discourse: Encounters - Graeme Sullivan
Critical Process: Enactments - Graeme Sullivan
Conclusion - Graeme Sullivan
Epilogue: Conclusions and Beginnings - Graeme Sullivan
Chipping Away - Graeme Sullivan
Uncertain Conclusions - Graeme Sullivan
References - Graeme Sullivan
About the Author
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