Tag Archives: art

Halftone

“Halftone: In photoengraving, a process in which gradations of light (value) are obtained by manipulating the density of minute dots on the printing surface. The conversion of image to dots is achieved by photographing the subject through a special screen. Halftones have been in use since 1878.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Doonesbury

If you have any budding comic strip drafters, graphic novelists, or just kids who like to draw in your cohort (I’ve had quite a few over the years), then this reading on the comic strip Doonesbury and its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet might be of interest to them. In my experience, this reading has been high-interest material for a certain kind of student, especially once they’ve seen the strip itself–available in most daily newspapers and, of course, online. If you had told me that more than forty years after I was introduced to this strip in high school it would still be going strong, I don’t know if I would have believed it.

So, if nothing else, the topical nature of Doonesbury and its longevity, inextricably intertwined as they are, is an area for some critical inquiry.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Formalism

“Formalism:  A central tenet of modernist art criticism that emphasized the importance of line, color, and space (significant form). Representational content was considered irrelevant in the eyes of formalist critics. Since formalism provided ‘objective’ methods for looking at all art whether Western or not, ancient or contemporary, it was thought of as egalitarian. But the advent of Pop Art necessitated a different analysis that went beyond the work itself and examined influences from popular culture. Postmodern approaches to art-making and criticism investigate both form and content, as well as the context of art and its role in society.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Sgraffito

“Sgraffito: (It., scratched; pl. sgraffiti) A technique of decorating stuccoed surfaces, in which a layer of colored plaster is laid over a dry underlayer and then incised with designs while still damp—making use of the contrasting color of the underlayer. Also, a drawing or words hastily scratched or written on a wall.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Silhouette

“Silhouette: A profile likeness of a person or scene cut from black paper and usually mounted against a white background. Named for French amateur practitioner of the art, Etienne de Silhouette, Louis XV’s finance minister.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Still Life

“Still Life: (Fr. nature morte) A painting, drawing, or mosaic of a group of inanimate objects, i.e. dead or at least motionless objects, such as fruit, flowers, dead fish or game, and common household objects. Still lifes were typical of Greek and Roman mosaics, but they did not remerge until the 16th century, when they became popular subjects especially in Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, and Neapolitan painting. See VANITAS.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Neo-Romanticism

“Neo-Romanticism: A minor movement that paralleled Surrealism but concentrated on more lyrical subjects, particularly man’s environment and emotions. The key figures were Christian Berard, Eugene Berman, and Pavel Tchelitchew.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

A Reading Course in Romanticism in Art, Literature, and Music

If we’ve learned anything during the COVID19 pandemic, it is that far too many people are far too quick to forego reason, the weight of facts, and the methods of scientific inquiry for emotionalism, subjectivity, and simple ignorance when considering public policy and personal conduct in our current circumstances. I’ve always distrusted emotion, primarily because in my life I have seen it used to contrive, justify and buttress errant nonsense and the ghastly conduct that often accompanies errant nonsense–e.g. showing up heavily armed at a state capital building out of anger that you cannot get your hair done or drink in a tavern. It seems to me that when the leader of a nation-state suggests that a new, aggressive, and demonstrably fatal virus will disappear by “miracle,” romantic thinking is on the march.

In these circumstances, it is useful to remember the romantic movement in Europe rejected reason and objectivity in favor of ardor and subjectivity. I almost wrote my undergraduate honors thesis on the extent to which romanticism was implicated in twentieth-century totalitarian political movements. I don’t think one needs to watch much of a speech by either Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler, or review the propagandistic graphic art from Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union, to see that these dictators weren’t appealing to the capacity for reason in their audiences.

So, now seems like as good a time as any to publish a trio of readings and comprehension worksheets on romanticism. I just rendered the readings as typescripts and wrote the worksheets a couple of days ago, so this stuff is brand new. Between the three readings, there are repetitions of key ideas: as always on Mark’s Text Terminal, all of these documents are in Microsoft Word, so you can do with them as you wish.

First, here is a reading on romanticism in the plastic arts along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Second, here is a reading on the romantic movement in literature with the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that accompanies it.

Finally, here is a reading on romantic music (not make-out records by crooners, but those nineteenth-century composers like Schumann, Liszt, and Wagner) along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

And that’s it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Futurism

“Futurism: Chiefly an Italian literary and artistic movement, futurism stressed the dynamism of motion and appealed to young Italian artists to reject the art of the academies and museums. The first ‘Manifesto of Future Painters,‘ proclaimed in 1910 in Turin, was signed by Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, and L. Russolo. Attempting to represent time and motion, these painters and sculptors showed multiples of moving parts in many positions simultaneously. While futurism was not directly associated with fascism until after World War I, evidence of right-wing political ideas and the glorification of war can be found in Boccioni’s States of Mind of 1910-1911.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Lluis Busse

To wrap up today, I just want to give a quick shout-out to Lluis Busse, who started following this blog yesterday and who maintains a stylish and literate blog that exhibits his compelling monochrome photographs.