Based on Davis The Visual Experience ART I MRS. LANCASTER

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Based on Davis The Visual Experience ART I MRS. LANCASTER"


1 Based on Davis The Visual Experience ART I MRS. LANCASTER

2 Chapter 1 WHAT IS ART? What does the word art mean to you? Does it make you think of famous paintings and sculptures? Does it make you think of art galleries and museums? Or does it make you think of a classroom where you go to make art? If the word art made you think about any of the things above, you were right! Art is all of those things, but it also more. Art involves people. Artists are the people who make art. Viewers view the art at places like museums, galleries, and exhibits. Teachers (not just art teachers) talk about art and students like you study it. This painting is about being an artist. It s a painting about painting. How does this painting disagree or agree with your view of what art is? The Artist s Studio, Pierre Subleyras, oil on canvas 125 x 99

3 Art also involves seeing. Seeing effectively is a special skill. If you understand how to see art, it can make you feel a sense of wonderment, curiosity, or amazement. While art can give you enjoyment because it is pleasing to view, it can also be very meaningful. A good place to begin is looking at some artwork. What is artwork? What makes an artwork different from other objects? You probably have some thoughts about this. On the next couple of pages you will take an ungraded quiz about what is and is not art. Before you take the quiz, think about some objects or paintings that you already know to be works of art. Since you already know they are considered art, think about what makes them art. Do they have anything in common? Even if you are not sure what this is, you can recognize it as an artwork. How would you compare this to the painting on the previous page? Seer, Martin Puryear, 1984, water based paint on wood and wire, 78 x 52 1/2 x 45 2

4 3

5 Quiz Answers: 1: b; 2: b; 3: a; 4: b; 5: a; 6: b; 7: a; 8: a; 9: b; 10: b Were you surprised by the answers? You have may have guessed that some objects were not art when they really are. This is because art today comes in so many different forms. Let s talk about each artwork! You may have recognized the artwork 2 as a landscape painting. It is very traditional. The style and subject matter are very recognizable. However, the detail used may have led you to assume this was an illustration not a painting. Although you could see a replica of art like that of artwork 8, you will not actually find the art in a museum. You could probably tell that this artwork was created many, many years ago. Artwork 5 is a real buckskin shirt made by the Broule Sioux people. Objects like this shirt that are from an ancient culture or time are highly valued and sought after for both private and public collections. The painting in artwork 9 is an abstract work of art. Abstract art is the opposite of realism. It does not resemble things we see in real life. This work is by Josef Albers. He liked to work with the investigation of color. Before the 20th century was not realistic. We are much more accustomed to abstract work like Albers today. Did you mistake artwork 1 for a comic strip? It certainly has the look of a comic. Before World War II artists wouldn t be taken seriously if their imitated something like a comic. However, the 60 s art movement, Pop Art, changed people s views. Lichtenstein often used images from pop culture (popular culture) as a comment on American society and values. A different example of Pop Art is artwork 7, the felt sculpture by Joseph Beuys. This is not just a man s suit. Beuys was a fighter pilot for the German air force during WWII. He was shot down. Peasants kept him warm by covering him with many layers of felt. Beuys included felt in many of his artworks for that reason. How do you feel about architecture as art? The artist who designed artwork 3 is one of America s most distinguished architects. The Wainwright Building is an old office building in St. Louis. It is recognized as a major advance in high-rise commercial style. Did artwork 4 fool you? It is not a real briefcase! It is ceramic. Ceramic means fired clay. Clay is a material that has been used for thousands of years by many different peoples. Until recent times, ceramic artist made mostly functional pieces. 4

6 Of all the artworks, artworks 6 and 10 may seem the least like real art. How could throwing fabric everywhere be art? And why would people want to go see a goat stuck in a tire? In previous years, people have had a hard time accepting abstract art. It was difficult to even accept abstract paintings even though they were made with the same materials as traditional paintings. In the last hundred years, ideas about what art is have broaden considerably. Modern artists are likely to use any materials they can get their hands on. Some artists even perform their art. As technology progresses so does artistic experimentation with digital process, techniques, and media as art. Today s artists have so much more freedom with their art. But, with that freedom comes questions about how to define art. Summary When people here the word art, it usually makes them think about galleries, museums, particular works of art, or specific artists. Art also includes viewers, art historians, teachers, archeologists, curators, and students. After reading this chapter, you should understand that today s art comes in a wide variety of media and forms. This variety came about in the 20th century. Before that, the only objects considered art were paintings and sculptures. Functional, everyday objects from the past are now considered art. The definition of what art is and could be has broadened considerably. Go to Mrs. Lancaster s Classroom page and click on the Text tab on the left. Open the Chapter 1 Review Questions link. Answer the questions and submit the form. 5