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This is a critique of works of art dating from the early fifteenth century through to modern installations. Suggesting a series of questions to ask when looking at a painting this will help develop a critical understanding of art.
Mary Acton suggests that the best way to understand modern art is to look closely at it, and to consider the different elements that make up each art work - composition, space and form, light and color and subject matter. Her engaging and beautifully-written guide to art of the modern and postmodern period covers key art movements including Expressionism, Constructivism, the Bauhaus, Surrealism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Young British Art, and artistic forms such as architecture and design, sculpture and installation as well as works on canvas. The book is richly illustrated with color and black and white images by the artists, designers and architects discussed, ranging from Picasso and Matisse to Le Corbusier, Andy Warhol and Rachel Whiteread.
Contemporary art photography is paradoxical. Anyone can look at it and form an opinion about what they see, yet it represents critical positions that only a small minority of well-informed viewers can usually access. Why Art Photography? provides a lively, accessible introduction to the ideas behind today's striking photographic images. Exploring key issues such as ambiguity, objectivity, staging, authenticity, the digital and photography's expanded field, the chapters offer fresh perspectives on existing debates. While the main focus is on the present, the book traces concepts and visual styles to their origins, drawing on carefully selected examples from recognized international photographers. Images, theories and histories are described in a clear, concise manner and key terms are defined along the way. This book is ideal for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of photography as an art form.
The title of our volume on interdisciplinary semiotics is situated in a geographical metaphor and points to the possibility of uncovering meanings through shifting perspectives as well as to the possibility of understanding how these various modes of meaning are articulated and framed in particular cultural instances. Regardless of medium, semiotic rotations permit play between the surface and underlying levels of a communication, reveal the relationship between open and closed systems of signification, and modulate shades of meaning caught between the visible and invisible. Readerly play in these sets of apparent oppositions reveals that the less each pairing is held to be a coupling of oppositions and the more they are observed through perspectives gained by semiotic rotations, then the more complex and rich the modes of meaning may become.
Art History: The Basics is a concise and accessible introduction for the general reader and the undergraduate approaching the history of art for the first time at college or university. It will give you answers to questions like: What is art and art history? What are the main methodologies used to understand art? How have ideas about form, sex and gender shaped representation? What connects art with psychoanalysis, semiotics and Marxism? How are globalization and postmodernism changing art and art history? Each chapter introduces key ideas, issues and debates in art history, including information on relevant websites and image archives. Fully illustrated with an international range of artistic examples, Art History: The Basics also includes helpful subject summaries, further ideas for reading in each chapter, and a useful glossary for easy reference.
If you've ever wanted to control your art so that you can paint anything—and paint it well—this is the book for you! The mediums are oil, watercolor, and contour drawing but this is a book about making good paintings, not learning a particular medium. The subject matter is broad, ranging from still lifes to figures and portraits, to landscapes. Again, the point is that if you can paint, you can paint anything! But you must never feel compelled to paint what is before you. You must feel free to paint not what you see, but what you want to see—the way you want it to look—and this book shows you how. Paint What You Want to Seeis a complete course in painting and "seeing." It even includes critiques of student work and problem paintings—you learn where the paintings went wrong and how they can be improved. There are also numerous assignments to practice at home, with examples of how to do them, and valuable lessons on the essentials of values, color, and composition. You will learn how to make a contour drawing, how to layer your washes until you get the right value, and how to use "local value" and color-values to make strong statements. You will also learn how to mix subtle colors such as greens, grays, flesh-tones, and darks; paint with analogous and complementary colors; paint light, shadows, and negative shapes; and see tubed paint in terms of value. Lessons on composition include directing the eye with edges; vignetting; placing darks and other colors; advice on handling patterns; integrating subject and background; subduing or emphasizing contours; and hints on loosening up your painting style. The book concludes with a review of famous artists' painting, with suggestions on applying their "lessons" to your own work. Painting What You Want to Seeis for artists of all levels of ability, particularly for intermediate and advanced students who already know how to paint and want to make better, more expressive paintings. The instructions are clear and simple, with numerous examples, excellent illustrations, informative captions, and many useful assignments to help you develop your own style. Except for sections on drawing and values, the entire book is in color. All in all, a most extraordinary book!

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