Art, Design and Visual Culture: An Introduction by Malcolm Barnard

By Malcolm Barnard

This attention-grabbing exam of visible event deals a proof and review of the normal technique of interpreting visible tradition. so much of our event is visual--we receive such a lot of our details and data via sight, no matter if from interpreting books and newspapers, from gazing tv, or from fast glimpsing street indicators. a lot of our judgments and judgements, in addition to our leisure and game, are in accordance with the visible adventure. utilizing quite a lot of ancient and modern examples, this ebook argues that the teams which artists and architects shape, the audiences and markets which they promote to, and the various social periods that are produced and reproduced by way of artwork and layout are all a part of the winning clarification and important review of visible culture.

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It is not a formal aspect, nor is it related to scripture. It is rather 'something else', some sign of an emotional shift, an indication of an underlying attitude. Now, it is not immediately clear how this sort of approach might help in the understanding of works of design. Film and television seem to admit of such treatment, possessing formal aspects and relating to stories, concepts and so on.

It is understood, for example, by 'realising that a male figure with a knife represents St Bartholomew' (54). In understanding this level of meaning, 'we connect artistic motifs and combinations of motifs ... ), This level is slightly more difficult to understand as one must know the concept, theme, story or allegory with which the motif is connected and not everyone will be equally familiar with all the concepts, themes and so on. In order to understand Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper , for example, one would have to know How May It Be Studied?

The whole of Matisse's life is explained on the basis of this one episode. This episode is explained in terms of rejecting the reasoning part of the mind and concentrating on the instinctive, the effect of 'the heart' (21); it is held to provide the key to understanding the whole of Matisse's drawn work and is referred to at many subsequent points in the essay. Elderfield also explains Matisse's drawings in terms of the intentions he perceives, in terms of Matisse's aims. One very clear example of this comes when Elderfield recounts how Matisse misquotes Courbet in trying to explain his aims and intentions.

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