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Understanding And Evaluating The Arts

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Understanding and Evaluating the Arts



Art Definitions:


1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.


a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

b. The study of these activities.

c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.

4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.

5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.


a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.

b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer

(The American HeritageÐ'® Dictionary of the English Language, 2003)


art is expression; and expression we may describe, for our own ends, as the putting forth of purpose, feeling, or thought into a sensuous medium, where they can be experienced again by the one who expresses himself and communicated to others. (Croce)



1. the products of human creativity; works of art collectively; "an art exhibition"; "a fine collection of art"

2. the creation of beautiful or significant things; "art does not need to be innovative to be good"; "I was never any good at art"; "he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully"

3. a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation; "the art of conversation"; "it's quite an art"

4. photographs or other visual representations in a printed publication; "the publisher was responsible for all the artwork in the book" [syn: artwork] (WordnetÐ'®3.0, 2006)


A visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination. The term art encompasses diverse media such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, decorative arts, photography, and installation. The various visual arts exist within a continuum that ranges from purely aesthetic purposes at one end to purely utilitarian purposes at the other. This should by no means be taken as a rigid scheme, however, particularly in cultures in which everyday objects are painstakingly constructed and imbued with meaning. Particularly in the 20th century, debates arose over the definition of art. Figures such as Dada artist Marcel Duchamp implied that it is enough for an artist to deem something "art" and put it in a publicly accepted venue. Such intellectual experimentation continued throughout the 20th century in movements such as conceptual art and Minimalism. By the turn of the 21st century, a variety of new media (e.g., video art) further challenged traditional definitions of art. See aesthetics; art conservation and restoration; drawing; painting; printmaking; sculpture; photography; decorative arts. (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2008)


Painting - Works of art made with paint on a surface. Often either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. In addition, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (ArtLex Art Dictionary)

Artist: Paul Klee

Style/Movement: Primitivism

Title: Dream City

Original size: 48 x 31 cm

Medium/Technique: Watercolor and oil

Date of creation: 1921

Location: Private collection, Turin

This exemplifies the definition of art due to the use of imagination, line and color, mosaic and other effects and with transparent layers of paint, juxtaposition of houses, trees, plants and abstract motifs echoed to the very edges of the painting this is a great example of cubism.

“In the final analysis, a drawing simply is no longer a drawing, no matter how self-sufficient its execution may be. It is a symbol, and the more profoundly the imaginary lines of projection meet higher dimensions, the better.” (Klee)

Sculpture - A three-dimensional work of art or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. (ArtLex Art Dictionary)

Artist: Auguste Rodin

Style/Movement: Realism

Title: The Kiss

Medium/Technique: Marble

Date of creation: 1886

Location: Musee Rodin; Paris, France

Exemplification of “art” is shown in the light and shade used by Rodin to create an impression of actuality. The convulsive contraction of the toes on the man's right foot and the tenseness of his hand in contrast to the woman's thigh, distinguished by their stunning strength and realism.

“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated.” (Rodin)




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