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Howard Arkley


Glossary

Abstract Art
In abstract art the elements of art (such as colour, shape, line and tone) are used to create an image or form that is not realistic/naturalistic. There are varying degrees of abstraction in art. Some abstract art reflects clear references to recognisable forms. Other abstract art makes limited or no reference to recognisable forms.
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Airbrush
A mechanical painting tool that uses compressed air to apply paint in a fine spray.
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Amish Quilts
The distinctive quilts which have been made by the Amish women of rural Pennsylvania (USA) since the late nineteenth century. The bold colour combinations and geometric shapes and designs that characterise the quilts are strongly influenced by the values and faith of the Amish.
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Art Deco
A decorative style/movement that had a significant influence on design, including architecture and the decorative arts (c.1910–1930). The strong geometric shapes and elegant, streamlined forms and lines of Art Deco design reflect the influence of the machine–age modern art and design movements such as Cubism and The Bauhaus.
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Art Nouveau
A decorative style/movement that had a significant influence on design, including architecture and the decorative arts, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was characterised by asymmetrical compositions and sinuous flowing lines and shapes inspired by plant forms.
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Automatic Writing/Drawing
Writing or drawing that is produced by unconscious free–association, and spontaneous action, rather than by rational, controlled thought and planning.
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De Stijl
De Stijl (the style) (c. 1917–31) was the name of a magazine published in Holland by a group of artists and designers. The group, who also became known as De Stijl, was committed to creating a harmonious living environment through art and design, based on horizontal and vertical lines, the primary colours, and black, white and grey.
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Exquisite Corpse
A technique used by Surrealist artists to produce texts or images incorporating random ideas and chance. Based on a traditional parlour game, creating the exquisite corpse involves several participants who each, in turn, contribute words or images to a text or image, without seeing what previous participants have contributed.
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Feminism
A social and political movement that advocates equality and rights for women. Feminist art has taken many different forms but often gives emphasis to subjects, materials and techniques associated with women’s lives.
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Figurative Art
Art in which there is some form of likeness to real objects, people or places.
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High Art
High art is often associated with art forms such as opera, classical music, ballet, literature and fine art. It is widely perceived as the work of professional artists, serious in intent, valuable and aimed mainly at an exclusive and educated audience. The terms ‘high art’ and ‘popular culture’ reflect the hierarchical division that is sometimes perceived between different forms of cultural production.
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Mass Media
Media forms, such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines, which communicate to large numbers of people.
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Modern Art
Art associated with the major movements in Western art between c.1860–1970. According to some commentators on art history, during this time art ‘progressed’ from naturalistic representation (ie impressionism) to the abstract and non–representational art forms of the high modernist styles of the 1950s and 1960s (ie Minimalism) that were seen as a form of ‘pure’ art. Many aspects of modern art, including the idea that art ‘progresses’ from one style to another were challenged by postmodernism.
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Op Art
Op art (short for optical art) is a style of non–representational painting in which precise arrangements of colour, line or shape are used to create the illusion of movement, light or space. Op art became popular in the mid 1960s and influenced fashion and interior design.
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Pop Art
Pop art developed in England in the 1950s and then came to prominence in America in the 1960s. It is a style that takes its subject matter, and some of its ideas and techniques, from the everyday world, in particular industrialised popular culture.
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Popism
Popism was a landmark exhibition, curated by Paul Taylor, held at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1982. The exhibition highlighted the use of images, forms or text drawn from popular culture or other sources.
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Pop Culture
Popular culture includes popular forms of entertainment, fashion, consumer goods and advertising. It is also often linked to commercial or mass production, and is perceived as having little or no serious aesthetic, intellectual or economic value. The artificial boundaries between high art and popular culture have been blurred by many artists since the development of Pop art in the 1950s and 60s (see Pop art).
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Post Modernism
A general term used to describe a wide range of cultural and critical movements and ideas that have influenced contemporary society since the 1970s. Postmodernism challenged many widely accepted ideas and values in art, culture and society. Postmodern visual art often addresses issues related to modernism in art, including the emphasis on innovation, originality, and progress that is associated with modern art. Many postmodern artworks include images or forms appropriated from earlier art styles or popular culture. Fragmentation, fabrication, layering, parody and humour are also common characteristics of postmodern art.
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Punk Movement
A sub–culture that originated in the United Kingdom and United States in the 1970s. Punk was closely associated with anti–establishment values and ideas that were evident in extreme and rebellious forms of fashion and music. Influential bands associated with Punk music include The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones.
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Surrealism
Surrealism began in the early 1920s as a literary movement under the leadership of the French writer André Breton. Surrealist artists sought to fuse everyday reality with the experience of dreams and the subconscious to create a ‘super’ reality. Surrealist images often combine logically unconnected objects using a meticulous, almost photographic technique, sometimes evoking a dream–like quality. Other artists explored the unconscious mind by using techniques of ‘automatism’. The ‘reality’ of the subconscious mind and the world of dreams were preferred over the matter–of–fact reality and logic of everyday life. Major exponents were Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Jean Arp and Joan Miro.
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Suburbia
A term commonly used to describe residential areas outside major cities.
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Zen Philosophy
A school of Buddhist thought that emphasises meditation and self–contemplation as the means to achieve enlightenment .
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