Friday, September 21, 2012

Type of Art

Basic Definitions of Art
Art: Definition and Meaning
The meaning of beauty and art is explored in the branch of philosophy called aesthetics. For more definitions, see the following:
Fine Art
Includes: drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking.
Visual Art
Includes: fine arts, certain contemporary arts (eg. installation, performance) and decorative arts.
Decorative Art
Broadly synonymous with crafts.
Applied Art
Includes: architecture, industrial-design, fashion/furnishings-design, interior-design etc.
Broadly synonymous with decorative arts.
Art Glossary
Explanation of all basic terms.

A-Z Types of Art
Animation Art
Derived from the Latin meaning "to breathe life into", animation is the visual art of creating a motion picture from a series of still drawings. Among the great twentieth century animators are J. Stuart Blackton, George McManus, Max Fleischer, and Walt Disney.
Best understood as the applied art of building design. Historically has exerted significant influence on the development of fine art, through architectural styles like Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical.
Art Brut
Painting, drawing, sculpture by artists on the margin of society, or in mental hospitals, or children. (English category is Outsider art.)
Assemblage Art
A contemporary form of sculpture, comparable to collage, in which a work of art is built up or "assembled" from 3-D materials - typically "found" objects.
This fine art, practised widely in the Far East and among Islamic artists, is regarded by the Chinese as the highest form of art.
A type of plastic art, ceramics refers to items made from clay and baked in a kiln. Broadly synonymous with pottery. See Chinese and Greek pottery, below. Two of the foremost European ceramicists are the English artist Bernard Howell Leach (1887-1979), and the Frenchman Camille Le Tallec (1908-91).
Composition consisting of various materials like newspaper cuttings, cardboard, photos, fabrics and the like, pasted to a board or canvas. May be combined with painting or drawings.
Computer Art
All computer-generated forms of fine or applied art, including computer-controlled types. Also known as Digital, Cybernetic or Internet art.
Conceptual Art
A contemporary art form that places primacy on the concept or idea behind a work of art, rather than the work itself. Leading conceptual artists include: Allan Kaprow (b.1927), and Joseph Beuys (1921-86) the former Professor of Monumental Sculpture at the Dusseldorf Academy, whose dedication earned him a retrospective at the Samuel R Guggenheim Museum (New York).
Design (Artistic)
This refers to the plan involved in creating something according to a set of aesthetics. Examples of artistic design movements include: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Ulm Design School and Postmodernism.
A drawing can be a complete work, or a type of preparatory sketching for a painting or sculpture. A central issue in fine art concerns the relative importance of drawing (line) versus colour.
- chalk
- charcoal
- conte crayon
- pastel
- pen and ink
- pencil

For a selection of the greatest sketches by some of the finest draftsmen in history, please see: Best Drawings of the Renaissance (1400-1550).
Folk Art
Mostly crafts and utilitarian applied arts made by rural artisans.
French Furniture
The greatest furniture was created during the 17th/18th centuries by French Designers at the Royal Court, in the Louis Quatorze, Quinze and Seize styles.
Graffiti Art
Contemporary form of street aerosol spray painting which emerged in East Coast American cities during the late 1960s/early 1970s. Famous graffiti artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88), Keith Haring (1958-90) and Banksy.
Graphic Art
Types of visual expression defined more by line and tone (disegno), rather than colour (colorito). Includes drawing, cartoons, caricature art, comic strips, illustration, animation and calligraphy, as well as all forms of traditional printmaking.
Icons (Icon Painting)
Ranks alongside mosaic art as the most popular type of Eastern Orthodox religious art. Closely associated with Byzantine art, and later, Russian icon painters.
Illuminated Manuscripts
This principally refers to religious texts (Christian, Islamic, Jewish) embellished with figurative illustrations and/or abstract geometric designs, exemplified by Book of Kells.
A new category of contemporary art, which employs various 2-D and 3-D materials to create a particular space designed to make an impact on the viewer/visitor. Turner Prize Winner Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin are famous installation artists.
A form of painting, drawing or other graphic art which explains, clarifies, pictorializes or decorates written text.
Jewellery Art
Practised by goldsmiths, as well as other master-craftsmen like silversmiths, gemologists, diamond cutters/setters and lapidaries.
Junk Art
Artworks made from ordinary, everyday materials, or "found objects". Typically 3-D works like sculpture, assemblage, collage or installations.
Land Art
A relatively new category of contemporary art, also called Earth art, earthworks, or Environmental art, it was led by Robert Smithson (1938-73), and emerged in America during the 1960s as a reaction against the commercial art world.
Metalwork Art, Celtic
Embraces goldsmithery, the fashioning of precious metals into objets d'art, as well as enamelwork techniques like cloisonne, champleve, plique-a-jour and encrusted enamelling.
Mosaic Art
An ancient art form, developed by Ancient Greek and Byzantine artists, which creates pictorial designs out of glass tesserae. For its high point during the Middle Ages.
Outsider Art
Artworks by painters/sculptors outside mainstream culture; may be mentally ill, or untutored and uneducated: (French equivalent is Art Brut).
Since classical antiquity the highest form of Western art, painting has been dominated by Renaissance-style "Academic Art". Until the invention of pre-mixed paints and the collapsible paint tube in the mid-19th century, painters had to create their own colour pigments from natural plants and metal compounds. See colour in painting. Famous painting movements or schools include: Early/HighRenaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Op-Art, Pop Art, Minimalism, Photorealism, and others.
- acrylics
- encaustic painting
- fresco painting
- gouache
- ink and wash
- oils
- miniature painting
- panel painting
- tempera painting
- watercolours

- and more
Performance Art (and Happenings)
A 20th century art form involving a live performance by the artist before an audience. The form was explored and developed by exponents of Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism and later contemporary art movements.
A 20th century medium by which the artist captures pictorial images on film as opposed to the traditional fine art supports of canvas, paper or board. New computer software graphics programs have created new opportunities for editing and image manipulation. Foremost among exponents of photographic art is the American Ansel Adams, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim fellow and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, noted for his black-and-white photographs of the American West. The leading contemporary Irish lens-based artist is Victor Sloan (b.1945).
Poster Art
Peaked during the French Belle Epoque and the Art Nouveau era.
Primitive Art
Associated with Aboriginal, African, Oceanic and other tribal cultures; also embraces Outsider art.
The process of making original prints by pressing an inked block or plate onto a receptive support surface, typically paper. Among great modern exponents of fine art printmaking (eg. woodcuts, engraving, etching, lithography and silkscreen) are the American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), the French artist Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), the Dutch graphic artist MC Escher (1898-1972), Willem de Kooning (1904-97) and Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), as well as silkscreen printers like Andy Warhol (1928-87), all of whom infused the artform with great vitality.
- engraving
- etching
- giclee prints
- lithography
- screen-printing
- woodcuts

- and more
Public Art
A vague category of art which encompasses all works paid for by public funds. A more narrow definition might restrict it to all works designed for a space accessible to the general public. Sadly, most public art ends up in stores or offices staffed by public servants!
Religious Art
Typically architecture, or any fine or decorative arts with a religious theme, either Christian, or non-Christian.
Rock Art
Traditionally encompasses primitive stone engravings (petroglyphs), relief sculptures, cave painting (pictographs) and megaliths of the Stone Age.
Sculpture is a three-dimensional work of plastic art created either by (1) Carving - in stone, marble, wood, ivory, bone; (2) modelling - from wax or clay, after which it may be cast in bronze; (3) an assemblage of "found objects".
- statue
- relief sculpture
- bronze
- ivory carving
- marble
- stone
- wood-carving

Stained Glass Art
The supreme decorative art of the Gothic movement, stained glass reached its zenith during the 12th and 13th centuries when it was created for Christian cathedrals across Europe. Modern stained glass was made in America by John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany; and on the Continent at the Bauhaus design school.Sadly, the creators of the stained glass masterpieces in Chartres and other Gothic cathedrals remain anonymous, however their skills were kept alive by artists like Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and Joan Miro (1893-1983), and - in Ireland - by such Irish artists as Harry Clarke (1889-1931), Sarah Purser (1848-43) and Evie Hone (1894-1955).
Tapestry Art
An ancient type of textile art, tapestry-making flourished in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, at the hands of French and (later) Flemish weavers. The most famous works were woven at the Gobelins and Beauvais tapestry factories in Paris, but see also the famous Bayeux Tapestry (c.1075) a Romanesque work stitched by Anglo-Saxon and French seamsters, depicting the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Video Art
One of the most recent categories of contemporary expression, pioneered by Andy Warhol and others, video is frequently used in installation art, as well as as a stand-alone art form. Several Turner Prize Winners have been video artists. The leading video artist of the twentieth century is probably Bill Viola (b.1951), known for his technical and creative mastery of the genre.

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