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Glossary for Writing in Art & Design

Glossary of terms for Writing in Art & Design
Term Date Definition Source Comments
abstract painting or abstract art 20/3/06 "Art which does not imitate or directly represent external reality"

Three types:

–original source (e.g. landscape) still decipherable

–simplified geometric shapes with no direct reference to reality (e.g. Mondrian)

–emphasis on brushstrokes, colour and texture (e.g. Pollock)
The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists, London: Thames and Hudson, 1985 Interesting that Mondrian is mentioned in this definition.
allegory 12/12/06 Using one subject to represent a different subject

Presenting an abstract or symbolic meaning in a concrete form

Macquarie Dictionary This also applies to literature, music, etc.
Baroque 21/8/06 Dominant style of European art between Mannerism and Rococo, i.e. 17th century. Style involves "vigorous movement and emotional intensity" as well as "a concern for balance and above all wholeness". The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997 Look up key artists of this period.
composition 1/8/06 "The art of combining the elements of a picture or other work into a satisfactory whole." P. & L. Murray, The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists, 7th ed., London: Penguin, 1997
content words 5/4/06 These words or phrases specify the scope of an assignment topic and link to your unit content For example, in the 1960s or for a director of a regional gallery.
counterbalancing 23/3/06 Neutralise or cancel by having an opposite influence The New Oxford Dictionary of English
direction words 5/4/06 These are usually verbs like discuss, assess, compare or critically evaluate which appear in assignment topics and provide direction about the sort of answer you are required to produce
Expressionist 5/9/06 A practitioner of Expressionism e.g. Edvard Munch
Expressionism 5/9/06 Art movement, 20th century, Europe. Focus on expression of emotion and inner vision of artist. Use of distorted lines, shapes, exaggerated colour to produce emotional effect. Glossary of Art Movements – What does this have to do with die Brücke and der Blaue Reiter?
formalesque 25/3/06 This seems to relate to formalism and involve 'observing how the work is harmonious, but does not consider how it reveals meanings.' Sample visual analysis from Language and Learning Online Remember to ask Robert Nelson to explain this further.
formalism 25/3/06 "Addressing the elements of form in a work i.e. size, colour, shape, construction etc. rather than the content. Best known US formalist is the critic Clement Greenberg." South Australian School of Art online glossary opens in a new window Look up Clement Greenberg.
gerund 24/4/06 A verb that ends in -ing and acts as a noun in a sentence Purdue University's Online Writing Lab opens in a new window - Verbals page This is a really useful website for learning about grammar.
glossary 20/2/06 A list of technical or specific or specific in a subject or field, with definitions Macquarie Dictionary Sounds like a useful thing to make
Gothic 15/6/06 –style of art and architecture in Europe bw. Romanesque and Renaissance

–prevalent in Italy mid 12th to early 15th century

–architecture characterised by lightness, verticality & intricacy
M. Clarke, Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms, Oxford: OUP, 2001 Find other definitions for this term.
hue 20/2/06 "The purest or brightest form of a colour, having no white or black mixed with it. A particular colour or colour name." I. Paterson, A Dictionary of Colour, London: Thorogood Publishing, 2003 This is a really cool book!
mimetic 9/9/06 –characterised by mimicry

–representing the real world in art, literature etc.
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Landscape, still life, portraits etc.
passive speech 18/3/06 A form of verb tense in which the subject of the sentence receives the action of the sentence or is acted upon Purdue University's Online Writing Lab opens in a new window - Active and passive voice page Contrast with active speech, in which the subject of the sentence performs the action of the sentence
speculative 15/6/06 Based on conjecture or guessing The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 4th edn
subject 21/7/06 A person, object or idea that acts or is described in a sentence M. D. Shertzer, The Elements of Grammar, New York: Macmillan, 1986 A subject is usually a noun, a noun phrase or a pronoun.
sublime 8/4/06 "1. elevated or lofty in thought, language, etc. 2. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc." Macquarie Dictionary I think the second definition is more accurate.

(second definition)
29/6/06 Of the most exalted, grand or noble character; of a high intellectual, moral or spiritual level

Producing an overwhelming sense of awe, reverence or beauty, vastness or grandeur
New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary This makes more sense.
surrogate 15/3/06 A substitute, especially a person standing in place of another in a specific role New Shorter Oxford Dictionary of English
verb 21/7/06 A word showing the action or state of being of the subject of a sentence M. D. Shertzer, The Elements of Grammar, New York: Macmillan, 1986
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