Tag Archives: art

Impression

“Impression: Any print made from a block, plate, or stone. Also, the physical contact of paper and printing surface which in turn affects the quality of the image. Thus terms like ‘good impression’ and ‘weak impression’ describe that effect of the contact.”

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

Glasgow School

“Glasgow School: A group of painters who gathered in Glasgow, ca 1850-1918, who rejected academic conventionality and painted in a spirited style of naturalism. The best known of them include David Young Cameron and E.A. Walton.”

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

Salvador Dali

Here is a reading on Salvador Dali along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

It is a good general introduction to the artist’s life, containing both personal and professional biographical material. Of particular interest to students, perhaps (I saw Un Chien Andalou as a high school junior and found it both horrifying and compelling; in any case, it is a cultural product that is de rigueur if one is to count oneself among the a certain strand of the cognoscenti), are Dali’s collaborations with Luis Bunuel.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Lyrical Abstraction

“Lyrical Abstraction: Although this term remains vague and is used differently by various writers, it generally refers to the so-called third generation of abstract expressionism, which developed in the early 1970s and was characterized by more sensuous and subjective abstract interpretations than those of the second generation of abstractionism with their geometric tendencies: POP ART, HARD-EDGE PAINTING, and MINIMAL ART, for example.”

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

Fraktur

“Fraktur: Gothic or black-face type. Also, Pennsylvania German calligraphy, especially illuminated birth, baptismal, and marriage certificates executed in script derived from German fraktur script.”

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

Empaquetage

“Empaquetage: A special form of New Realism associated chiefly with Bulgarian artist Christo, which consists of packaging objects with common wrapping materials, especially plastic sheeting. The best known empaquetages (wrappings) have been done on buildings, although smaller objects (such as live women) and larger forms (such as cliffs) have been packaged.”

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

Graces

“Graces: In Roman mythology, the Gratiae, goddesses who embodied beauty and charm. Called by the Greeks the Charites, they were, by some accounts, named Aglaia (Brilliance), Thalia (the Flowering), and Euphrosyne (Joy), though their names and even their number varied. Although they were probably very early spirits of vegetation, they did not in classical times have any cult of importance. They are best known from their many appearances in art.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Modernism

“Modernism: The philosophy of modern art. Nineteenth-century industrialization resulted in societal changes which radically altered institutions of patronage for artists. With the rise of museums and an expanding commercial art market, artists were freer to experiment with modes of expression. Art for Art’s Sake was the common credo as this avant-garde determined their own content, form, and medium. Movements and styles abounded, including: Cubism, Constructivism, Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. Modernist art criticism was centered on significant form. Painting (especially Abstract Expressionism) was thought to progress toward purity in its refinement of color and flatness. The deconstructive critique of such formalist emphasis exposed the ‘impurity’ of meaning, that is, the possibility of multiple interpretations and a relativization of value judgements. This decentering expanded the theoretical and artistic modes of basic importance to Postmodernism. See International Style.”

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

Allegory

Allegory: A series of symbols existing harmoniously in a larger system of meaning. While a symbol most often takes the place of a letter, word, or image, such as the cross as a symbol of Christianity, allegory takes symbolism one step further by using images and/or stories to stand in for other ideas or abstract concepts. Picasso’s Guernica, rooted in events from the Spanish Civil War, works as an allegory for total war. (Disputed symbols include the wounded horse and the bull, representing Republican Spain and fascism, respectively.) From the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, the primacy of abstract art made the use of allegory seem out of date. But with the advent of postmodernism and a return to figurative and narrative works, allegory has again flourished. Modernists Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, and Jose Clemente Orozco make use of allegory, as do postmodernists Anselm Kiefer and Francisco Clemente.

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

Constructivism

“Constructivism: The creation of three-dimensional abstractions from materials used in modern technics, e.g., wire, iron, plastic, glass, wood. The first constructivist exhibition took place in Moscow in 1920. With its emphasis on rationality and modern technology, constructivist sculpture focused on space rather than mass. Begun as a Russian abstract style, it is sometimes called Tatlinism, after one of the earliest constructivists. Leader constructivists are Antoine Pevsner, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin both applied constructivist principles to architecture and design.”

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