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Exam terms to study for


Art is a primarily visual medium that is used to express ideas about our human experiences and the world around us; Her def = the quality production or expression of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.


Functions; spiritual/ritual; customs; communication; commemorate dieties; memorialize dead; glorify rulers/the state; to celebrate war/conquest/peace; protest; promote cohesion within a social group; record likenesses; educate; entertain; it is intended to do a job within a culture; one way to determine its intended function, is to see how well it succeeds.


Art has visual form, which allows the work to be seen or touched, and its ideas to be communicated.


the mass of ideas associated with each artwork and communicated through: the arts imagery, its symbolic meaning; its surroundings where it is used or displayed; customs, beliefs values; writings that help explain the work


A critical reflection on art within a culture and reflects the preference of a large segment of the culture's population; branch of philosophy deals with art, sources, forms, and effects of people (what something looks like; the visual characteristics); directly concerned with beauty


whatever you use to make the art; can be specific material, or general area.


response to the world

Fine art

produced by trained artist, self consciousness to art "highbrow" knew what they were doing; "Lowbrow" were lower leveled.

"High brow" vs. "low brow"

"high brow" = they knew what they were talking about
"low brow" =

Popular Culture

doesn't reference art history; dolls tattoos, etc;


overly calcualted to be popular ("low brow") emotional appeal that is generalized; superficial, and sentimental ("") reproduction paintings; like thomas kinkade; shallow or pretentious;

Art Criticism

evaluation and education; all based on 1. Originality 2. sensitibity to the appropriate use of materials; 3. consistency of concept, design, and execution.


refers to specific media, including ceramics, glass, jewlery, weaving, and woodworking;

Untrained/folk/naïve/outsider artists


Style (and stylistic categories)

the manner if artistic expression characteristic either of an individual artist, of a historic period, or of an entire civilization; Categories = Cultural, Artist, Group, Period, Regional Styles


orderly, balanced, clear and well proportional work or a point in the evolution of styles; Capital C refers to the specific art in Greece in 5th century BC


art that generally contains recognizable imagery that is depicted very much as seen in nature; (also known as representational)


contains entities from the world in recognizable form; naturalistic; we see them in the every day world; objects presented are subjects


no subject; (nonobjective); contains imagery that is completely generated by the artist.


no reference to natural objects; depict objects in simplified, distorted or exaggerated ways; ; this imagery may or may not be recognizable, but it has been derived from reality by distorting, enlarging, or dissecting objects or figures from nature.

Subject/Subject matter

the substance of a work of art, in contrast to its form.


underlying ideas or messages


a style of art in which natural imagery is modified in a way that strives for perfection according to the values and aesthetics of a particular culture.


an art movement in early 20th century Europe that focused on capturing the subjective feeling toward objective reality. It developed a bold, colorful, and vigorous style, especially in painting.

Formal Analysis

the integrated study of the elements and principles of art and the way they are used in a specific artwork.


the arrangement of elements and principles in an artwork

Principles of Design

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Emphasis/focal point

draws attention to an area (focal point)

Content Analysis

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the external conditions that surround a work of art; these may include historical events, economic trends, contemporary cultural events, relifous attitudes, social norms, etc.

Physical surroundings/method of encounter

it is important to know where the work of art was made, especially the historical, political, religious, and social conditions of the day; it is also important to view it from out contemporary environment today (like you can't be ready to judge unless you really relate to the time period it was made in)


an image or element that is descriptive of something else


an image or element that stands for or represents some other entity or concept.


a system of symbols that allows artists to refer to complex ideas;

Modernist criticism (formalist, ideological, psychoanalytical, structuralist)


Postmodern criticism (post-structuralism, deconstruction, feminist criticism, male gaze, relational aesthetics, personal interpretation/phenomenology)


Artists (who makes art?)

artists themselves, as well as culture/society/events have a huge impact on how art is made/viewed, etc.

Apprentice systems

Guilds; preserved technical information for artists and regulated art making. (medieval times); Kitab Khana; Persian Royalty; libraries and workshops oh highly trained artists who produced fine illuminated manuscripts; Academies in Europe; U.S - college or university.

Academic art


Solo artists vs. community/collaborative art making



the process of making multiple artworks or impressions, usually on paper, using a printing plate, woodblock, stone, or stencil.

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