ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota

Art and Artists
 Berenice Abbott
 Giovanni Canal
 Frank Gehry
 Marsden Hartley
 Louis Lozowick
 Mexico (Nayarit)
 David Nash
 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places

abstract--Art that looks as if it contains little or no recognizable or realistic forms from the physical world. Focus on formal elements such as colors, lines, or shapes. Artists often "abstract" objects by changing, simplifying, or exaggerating what they see.

archaeologist--A scientist who studies the life and customs of past cultures by examining their material remains, usually artifacts such as utensils, stone carvings and architecture.

canal--A man-made waterway built for passage from one place to another.

cropping--In photography, cropping refers to the practice of establishing the edge of an image. Often a close-cropped photograph cuts parts of the central image off for expressive or compositional purposes.

Cubism--An early 20th Century style of art characterized by overlapping picture planes, multiple perspectives; analytic cubism looks at all views at once; synthetic cubism is basically two-dimensional.

Dada--Anti-art movement which emerged in Europe in 1916 as a reaction against the inhumanity of World War I; interpreted irrational and nihilistic, or hopeless, social forces by creating ridiculing images; and used shock tactics.

Deconstructionism--In art and literature, a tendency to subvert or pull apart and examine existing conventions having to do with meaning and individualism. Whether using language, images, or building elements, deconstructionists raise questions about meaning, materials, forms and other aspects of artistic expression.

Depression--A period during the 1930s of drastic decline in the economy characterized by decreasing business activity, falling prices, and unemployment.

endangered species--An animal or plant that is in danger of extinction or ceasing to exist.

environment--All the conditions, circumstances and influences surrounding and effecting the development of an organism.

environmental or ecological art--Art that focuses on human interaction with their environments such as pollution and land use.

expressionism--Art that employs bright colors; distorted representation; expression of emotion; and commentary on social issues.


Fauvism--An art style characterized by the bold distortion of form and the use of strong, pure color.

Federal Arts Project (FAP)--A program organized by the U. S. government in 1935 during the Depression designed to employ artists by placing them on the federal payroll and in return having the works they produced, which included murals, photographs, archival drawings, and easel paintings, submitted to the government for use in public buildings. By the time it was dissolved in 1943, the FAP had employed ten thousand artists.


geometric shapes--Shapes with regular contours, and straight edges such as squares, triangles, or circles.

gondola--A long, narrow boat used on the canals in Venice, Italy.

impasto--A painting technique in which the paint is applied very thickly on the canvas.

Impressionism--A movement in painting in which the emphasis on light and color, loose brush strokes, ordinary subject matter; creates the "impression" of a moment in time. Dabs and strokes of color are used to depict the natural appearances of objects and reflected light.

indigenous--A plant or animal natural to a particular region.

lithograph--A method of printing that uses stone (or a metal plate), a grease pencil or brush, and water and ink to produce a number of prints from one drawing or painting.

Machine Age--The early 1900s focus on the positive aesthetic and social qualities of the factory and cityscape.

modern, modernism--In art history, this term refers to the philosophies of art made in Europe and the United States during a period roughly from the 1860s through the 1970s when certain artists began to take radical steps away from traditional art in order to be deliberately different from the dominant, official taste. Modern art or modernism is characterized by changing attitudes about art, an interest in contemporary events as subjects, personal artistic expression, and freedom from realism. Modernism can be seen as artists' attempts to come to terms with the urban, industrial and secular society that emerged during the 19th century in Western society.

monochromatic--Having one color.

naturalist--A scientist who studies plants and animals from the natural world.

organic shapes--Things pertaining to living organisms or something from the natural world. In art, organic shapes are derived from natural forms.

perspective--A variety of techniques used to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a flat surface by mimicking the effects of distance on human perception. Perspective shows depth and make objects appear three-dimensional on a two-dimensional surface.

Postmodern--A term used to describe a diversity of styles and mediums explored by artists beginning in the 1970s. Initially applied to architecture that reacted to geometric modern styles, Postmodernism is often ornamental and borrows from past art and archtitectural styles, putting these elements in new combinations and contexts.

Realism--A style of art that represent nature accurately as seen by the human eye.

rural--Or or related to a small town or countryside.

Russian Constructivists--A Russian art movement founded in 1913 in which abstract geometric forms and industrial materials were used to reflect modern machinery and technology; integrated creativity and industrial production.

shade--A gradation of a color mixed with black.

shaman--A holy man or woman who is said to have contact with the gods or spirits.

tint--A gradation of a color mixed with white.

topographical painting--A type of art using realistic and accurate detail to record a scene or particular place.

urban--Connected to a city, with many people living in close quarters, and businesses nearby .

veduta--A painting, drawing, or print of a particular view of a town or city.

work-in-progress--An artwork which is not yet completed.

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Environment Vocabulary

Inner Worlds | Identity | Environment | What Is Art? | Designing Spaces and Places
Environment Activities | Environment Gallery | Environment Vocabulary