Extensive Art Appreciation Notes

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Ch. 1 Notes Summary
Definition of art according to formalists – An object that had a visual form sufficiently compelling or inspiring or beautiful to provoke an intensely felt, sensory-based response or aesthetic experience.

Key note: feeling
* The Artist has a certain intent when creating art.
* Can be used to make a statement; but often just to evoke a feeling * Kandinsky’s Improvisation 28
* Artist could present 3-D figures that offer a feeling of special coherency that nature doesn’t give us, * Sol Le Witt; pg 204

Artist convey intent through:
* Subject – What the piece depicts
* Form – The visual or formal qualities of an artwork; specifically the work’s element (line, color, shape, texture) and their arrangement. * Content – The driving force and reason behind the form and subject of an artwork; the feelings, thoughts, and meanings embodies in the work.

* Artists and viewers bring “baggage.” Different artists and viewers have different historical/cultural context. Basically, different experiences allow you to look and interpret art pieces differently… same goes for creating art.

* Goal in Art Appreciation: To Have good communication of an aesthetic experience. Through two main pathways

* 1. Examine your own existing baggage.
* 2. Try to pack things you don’t have into your baggage.. into your baggage so that you can try to understand what the artist is trying to do, as well as what you personally interpret. * What emotions are evoked and what do they mean?

* Art doesn’t just confirm what we already know or like… it expands our already existing ideas.

Chapter 1 Study Questions
1. Art artist is someone who possesses technical skill, as well as intellectual knowledge, inventiveness, and personal vision. Technical skill is almost a necessity in art – you need to be able to skillfully convey what you are trying to accomplish. Intellectual knowledge might help you explore different ways to view things, as well as personal vision. And inventiveness is key in art because it allows you to do things no one has ever done before. 2. Critic – analyzes the qualities of specific artworks, interprets their meanings, and judges their artistic success or failure. a. -Formalist- Someone whose approach to art focuses on the sensuous appreciation of the visual or “formal” qualities of an artwork such as its line, shape, color, texture, or composition. * argue that the form-based aesthetic experience is an invaluable end in itself and at the highest reward of art. i. The formalist values art for its artistic qualities, for how it looks, not for its connections to the larger world. ii. Pares away history, morality, and virtually everything other than color, shape, technique, and composition. iii. Helps the viewer look closely and respond with feeling to an object’s sensuous qualities. b. Contextualist- Someone whose approach to art focuses on the understanding of art that centers on the study of art “in context,” that is, in relation to the rest of life. Emphasizes the study of everything that surrounds and relates to the work of art: the viewer; the artist; the physical setting of the work; and the art, culture, and society that gave birth to it. *insist that the particular sociocultural context defines the nature of art itself and explains the varying definitions of art through-out history. iv. Takes in the big picture. Expands our understanding of the work in relation to the larger world. v. Offers many ways of looking at and giving meaning to a piece of art. vi. Sometimes can emphasize fact finding and intellectual theorizing to the exclusion of any sensuous, intuitive response to a work of art. c. Aesthetics- The Philosophical study of the nature of art and beauty. The term might also apply to the philosophy of art or “aesthetic” of an individual, group, or...
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