Visual Arts Guide / Edition 1

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This basic survey of the visual arts—two-dimensional art, sculpture, decorative arts and crafts, photography and cinema— provides the fundamental principles about visual art and its media with a concise survey of Western art history including Byzantine and Islamic art. The volume is designed to stimulate and involve readers in an active pursuit of new experience by including numerous works of art that can be studied on the Internet. The volume explains what art does, how art is put together, two dimensional art, sculpture and decorative arts and crafts, photography and cinema, renaissance to enlightenment, romanticism, realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, and art nouveau, the explosion of art in the early to mid-twentieth century and pluralism in a postmodern world. For beginning art enthusiasts and other interested in expanding their appreciation of art.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130416131
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Introduction: Where Are We Going? 1
How Do I Use This Book and Learn about Art? 1
What Happens When We Connect to the World Wide Web? 1
How Do I Pronounce All the Names and Terms? 2
How Do We Put This Study in Context? 2
1 What Does Art Do? 6
What's in This Chapter? 6
What Concerns Art? 6
To What Purposes and Functions? 10
How Should We Perceive and Respond? 14
Can We Figure Out Style? 15
How Do We Live with Art? 19
2 How Is Art Put Together? 24
What's in This Chapter? 24
How Does Composition Work? 24
What Other Factors Affect Us? 35
3 Can We See in Two Dimensions? Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking 44
What's in This Chapter? 44
Drawing Is the Basis 45
Painting Is the Dominant Form 48
Prints Offer Multiple Opportunities 51
Building a Basic Analysis 60
4 Can We Handle Three Dimensions? Sculpture and Decorative Arts and Crafts 62
What's in This Chapter? 62
Sculpture--What's in a Form? 62
What Are Decorative Arts and Crafts? 76
Building a Basic Analysis 79
5 Getting Next to Structures: Architecture 80
What's in This Chapter? 80
How Is Architecture Put Together? 81
How Can We Respond to Architecture? 97
Building a Basic Analysis 100
6 The Flicker of Camera Art: Photography and Cinema 103
What's in This Chapter? 103
Photography--Capturing Images through a Lens 103
Cinematography--Like Life in a Can 107
Building a Basic Analysis 114
7 From Order and Restraint to Spirituality: Greek Classical, Hellenistic, Roman Classical, Byzantine, Islamic, Romanesque, and Gothic Art, c. 500 B.C.E.-c. 1400 C.E. 116
What's in This Chapter? 116
Greek Classicism--A Predominance of Form over Feeling 117
Hellenistic Style--The Emergence of Feeling 121
Imperial Roman Classicism--Emulation of the Greeks 121
Byzantine Styles--Infusing Spirituality into Art 126
Islamic Tradition--Art as a Holy Place 128
Romanesque Style--Art in Service to the Christian Church 129
Gothic Style--Letting in the Light 131
8 From Rebirth to Rationalism: Renaissance to Enlightenment, c. 1400-c. 1800 135
What's in This Chapter? 135
The Renaissance--The Individual Reborn 135
The Baroque--Ornateness and Emotion 144
The Enlightenment--Confidence in the Power of Reason 150
9 Fragmenting Images, Emotions, and Individualism: Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Postimpressionism, and Art Nouveau, c. 1800-c. 1900 156
What's in This Chapter? 156
Romanticism--The Maximum in Anticlassicism 156
Realism--Objective Observations of Objective Reality 161
Impressionism--Common Passions in Pursuit of Spontaneity 164
Postimpressionism--A Diversity of Personalism 165
Art Nouveau--Popular Art in Whiplash 170
10 Viva Innovation and Experimentation: An Explosion of Art in the Early to Mid-Twentieth Century, c. 1900-c. 1960 171
What's in This Chapter? 171
Expressionism--Joint Reactions 172
Cubism--Visual Fragmentation 173
Mechanism and Futurism--Dynamic Machines 175
Abstraction--The Dissolving Image 176
Dada--Antiart Art? 178
Surrealism--The Unconscious Mind 178
The Harlem Renaissance 180
American Painting--A Wealth of Diversity 181
Abstract Expressionism--From Brushwork to Content 182
Pop Art--From Where We Live 183
Minimalism--Reductio Ad Infinitum 184
Architecture--Experiments in Modernism 185
Cinema and Neorealism 190
11 Pluralism in a Postmodern World: c. 1960-Present 193
What's in This Chapter? 193
Painting and Sculpture 194
Architecture--Revisionism Revisited 201
Cyber and Computer Art--A New Way of Seeing? 202
12 Conclusion: Applying Critical Thought 206
What Is Art Criticism? 206
Types of Criticism 207
Making Value Judgments 210
A Final Thought 211
Glossary 212
Further Reading 223
Index 225
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The purpose of a textbook is to provide information that meets its intended audience where they are. Visual Artsguide seeks a specific niche as a basic, concise, and inexpensive compendium for courses that introduce art to general students. ( Its length and illustration program are dictated by its purpose.) Visual Artsguide also attempts to stimulate an active pursuit of new experiences in a familiar venue: the Internet. This book will not serve every circumstance nor meet every expectation. It is for those who wish a skeletal compendium of basic information. It provides an outline that allows instructors room to fill in the spaces according to their own predilections and the specific needs of their courses and students.

Visual Artsguide accepts the challenge that most artistic terms and concepts are complex and subject to change. Definitions and concepts in this text are treated at a basic and general level. If a course demands greater sophistication, an instructor easily can add those layers. Knowing what to look at in a work of art is one step toward developing discriminating perception and getting the most from a relationship with art. Introducing the aesthetic experience through terminology may be arguable, but this approach gains credence from the College Board's statement on Academic Preparation for College, where use of "the appropriate vocabulary" is emphasized as fundamental. Vocabulary isolates characteristics of what to see in individual works of art and focuses perceptions and responses. We cannot understand or recognize how art works nor communicate our discoveries with others without the command of an appropriate vocabulary.

This step, however, isonly the beginning. When we develop confidence in approaching works of art by knowing certain basic terms and concepts, then we want more, and that leads to making study and involvement with the arts a lifetime venture. That lifetime involvement (as a consumer of and respondent to rather than a maker of art) ought to be the goal of every general art introduction course.

I humbly bring to this project nearly half a century of studying, practicing, teaching, and experiencing the arts. Even that, however, does not make every piece of information in this book a reflection of my own general knowledge. With regard for readability and the general nature of the text, I have tried to avoid footnotes. In that regard, the bibliography at the end of the text (under the heading "Further Reading") provides a reference list of the works used in preparation of this text. I hope this method of presenting and documenting the works of others meets the requirements of both responsibility and practicality.

I wish to acknowledge the following Prentice Hall reviewers: Stephen Smithers, Indiana State University; Alberto Meza, Miami-Dade Community College; Sarah McCormick, Kapiolani Community College; Herbert R. Hartel, Jr., John Jay College, City University of New York; Gene Hood, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; Michael R. Kapetan, University of Michigan; Dennis Dykema, Buena Vista University; and Mary Francey, University of Utah. I am grateful, as always, to Bud Therien at Prentice Hall, who, for more than twenty years, has been my editor, publisher, and guide, for the idea for this book. I am even more grateful to my wife, Hilda, for her patience, editorial and critical assistance, and love.


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