Monday, December 28, 2009

Vocabulary List
Basic Design 2
Introduction to three-dimensional design
Professor Stephen Robison

Abstract: Referring to art that simplifies, emphasizes, or distorts qualities of a real life image, often in order to present the essence of that image.

Abstract Expressionism: American art movement of the 1960s which synthesized European Modernism with America’s post-WWII social and cultural emergence. Characterized by bold expressionistic abstraction always communicating the actions of the artist in addition to any other narrative. Jackson Pollack, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline.

Academic Art: Term applied to any kind of art that uses established rules for technique and form organization.

Achromatic: Without color; characterized by black, white, and/or gray.

Activated Space: The space controlled or energized by a 3-D piece.

Additive Color Mixing: color mixing in light, where each additional color increases light energy, and all the combined colors give white light. See subtractive color mixing.

Additive Sculpture: Sculpture made by putting pieces together.

Allegorical: Using figure or emblem to stand for theme or idea.

Alignment: Arrangement along an axis.

Alternative Space: Non-traditional space used for exhibition of artwork.

Amorphous: Without definite form; lacking in structure.

Analogous Colors: Hues lying adjacent on the color wheel, often used together in color schemes.

Anthropomorphism: Giving human- or animal-like qualities to inanimate objects.

Applied Arts: The disciplines in which functional objects are created.

Applied Color: Color added to the surface, rather than the local color of the material itself.

Appropriation: the use of existing imagery not created by the artist in order to communicate a new idea.

Armature: A simple wood or wire inner skeleton providing support for modeling in a plastic material such as clay or wax.

Art Deco: Art movement in the early 20th century featuring machine-like forms and surfaces.

Art for Art's Sake: The essential credo of Modernism, implying that art need not serve to communicate a recognizable narrative, but can be made purely to enliven or activate a plane or space.

Art Nouveau: 19th century art movement featuring curvilinear design often featuring plant motifs.

Articulate: To connect or juxtapose shapes or forms logically.

Assemblage: A 3-D artwork made from found objects.

Asymmetrical Balance: Balance achieved by different visual elements which command similar visual emphasis.

Automatism: Closely associated with Surrealism, art which is created subjectively and/or randomly without imposition of the artist’s rational thought process.

Axis: A conceptual straight line indicated by the dominant linear concentration of shapes or forms in a group, or by implied direction of movement.

Avant Garde: French term meaning "out front," used in art in reference to conceptually innovative work.

Balance: Quality of stability and equilibrium controlled by location and emphasis of major parts of a design.

Bauhaus: Design school founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany in 1919, emphasizing clean, minimal design. Drew its inspiration from the philosophy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement that there should be no distinction between fine arts and applied arts. Bauhaus was forced to close by Hitler and many of those involved emigrated to the U.S.

Biomorphic: Shapes and forms associated with those found in nature, non-linear. See organic.

Buoyancy: Impression of physical lightness or upward movement in a work.

Cantilever: An object which projects horizontally into space, supported at only one end.

Classical: Referring to the art and culture of ancient Greece or Rome; referring to any style of art in its period of maximum perfection; referring to art based on order and proportion rather than on expressiveness and emotion.

Closed Form: A relatively solid form with little negative space.

Color-Field Painting: 1950s movement emphasizing broad fields of color. See Post-Painterly Abstraction. Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland.

Color Vibration: Perceptual phenomenon of vibration or movement along the contact line between two highly-contrasting colors.

Color Wheel: In color theory, circular chart showing primary, secondary, complimentary colors.

Complimentary Colors: Colors opposite one another on the color wheel - red/green, orange/blue, yellow/purple.

Composition: The arrangement or structuring of various elements.

Conceptual Art: Works or events where idea is more important than visual form.

Confined Space: A spatial field with clearly defined enclosing boundaries.

Constructivism: The reduction of two or three-dimensional art to abstract geometrical essentials. An international style which gained its greatest momentum in 1920s Russia. Archipenko, Rodchenko, Tatlin, Gabo, Moholy-Nagy.

Content: The subject matter of a work, plus its intellectual, symbolic, spiritual, and/or narrative implications, as opposed to physical form.

Contour: The outline of an object.

Contrast: The interaction of areas dissimilar in color, value, shape, texture, size, etc.

Cool Colors: Hues in the green and blue range.

Cubism: An early 20th century art movement originating in France in 1907, characterized by reduction of realistic form to abstract planes, often portraying several views of an object at once. Divided into analytical cubism, abstracted om response to the actual form and surface of an object or scene, and synthetic cubism, invented from the imagination in order to create a composition (may still be objective). Picasso, Braque, Leger, Duchamp.

Curvilinear: Stressing use of curved lines, as opposed to rectilinear which stresses straight lines.

Dada; Dadaism: An international style of anti-rational, anti-aesthetic art which was very active from about 1915 to 1923, playing upon the absurd and inhumane environment of the post-WWI machine age. Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Frances Picabia, Beatrice Wood.

Deconstruction; Deconstructionism: The practice of interpreting meaning in a art by intellectually and philosophically dismantling image and meaning into component parts, systematically revealing hidden message or meaning.

Decorative: Art characterized primarily by pleasing appearance rather than strength of narrative; visual treatment that embellishes a surface.

Delineated Space: In 3-D works, negative space or unfilled areas described or delineated by positive shapes or filled areas.

Direction: The line (actual or implied) along which an object or element seems to be pointing or moving.

Directional Line or Shape: Line or shape with a clearly perceived sense of direction, guiding the viewer’s eye along a visual path.

Discordant Colors: Outmoded term referring to use of a color with those adjacent to its compliment (see complimentary colors). Once considered inappropriate, now often used for emphasis or attention.

Documentation: In contemporary art, the surviving documented record of a remote, inaccessible, or transitory art installation or a performance art event.

Dynamic Form: Form that conveys a sense of movement or change.
Earth Art or Environmental Art: Art movement beginning in the 1960s which rejected the commercialization of art while embracing ecological concerns, primarily in installation art involving the outdoor environment. Christo, Alice Aycock, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Alan Sonfist.

Economy: Deletion of nonessential details to reveal the essence of a form.

Emphasis: Use of design elements to concentrate visual attention on particular areas or elements.

Environmental Art: see Earth Art.

Ergonomics: The study of how people relate physically to their living environment; the study of how to make manufactured products physically user-friendly.

Expressionism: Art that puts primary emphasis on the expression of emotional and psychological content. First emerged in late 19th and early 20th century with European artists like Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, James Ensor, Oskar Kokoshka, Kathe Kollwitz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Vassily Kandinsky, George Roualt.
Fabrication: Assembling and attaching of rigid materials in creation of sculptural form.

Figurative: Art that is representational rather than abstract; art representing human or animal forms.

Figure/Ground: Terms generally used in 2-D art, parallel to positive/negative space, referring to the relationship between foreground object(s) or element(s) as figure, and the background field or surrounding space or ground.

Fluxus: A 1960s art movement growing out of the Dada movement, emphasizing reexamination of the parameters of art, often with unconventional or absurd installation or performance art activities.

Focal Point: The primary area or point in a work to which the eye is drawn.

Folk Art: Art arising from rural folk traditions. Traditionally considered low art, but now a major component of mainstream art and outsider art.

Form: The volume and shape of a three-dimensional object, or the illusion of volume in a two-dimensional work; the overall physical aspects of a work, as opposed to its content.

Formal: Having to do with the design structure of a work without consideration of the content or recognizable subject matter.

Formalism: Theory or art that deals only with formal elements.

Found Objects: Objects or materials not created as art materials but used in a work of art.

Frontal: 3-D works which invite observation and appreciation primarily from one vantage point, as compared to half-round or full-round.

Full-Round - 3-D works which invite observation and appreciation from all directions.

Gestalt: The sum total effect of a work of art, combining the visual appearance, physical presence, objective narrative, and subjective psychological and emotional impact.

Gesture: Arrangements of design elements creating expressive or evocative association with movements and poses of the human figure.

Graffiti Art: Art movement beginning in 1970s inspired by New York City subway graffiti. In Italian, graffiti literally means scratches on the wall. Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lee Quinones.

Graphic Impact: Attention-getting quality of a work, often dependent on high-contrast color or value.

Ground: Background or surface upon which marks or shapes are created.

Grouping: In perception, the tendency to search for connections and similarities between objects in proximity. In design, the attempt to establish those connections and similarities which add to a coherent whole.

Half-Round: 3-D works which invite observation and attention within a 180-degree field of view.

Happening: Subcategory of Pop Art - early 1960s performance art events, primarily in New York City, involving interaction of artist and audience, addressing everyday life activities, and often incorporating multi-media effects.

Hard-Edge: Art characterized by clearly-defined sharp-edged lines and shapes.

High Art: Traditionally refers to "fine art" such as painting, sculpture, classical music, classical theater, etc.

High Relief: 3-D form rising considerably off a flat background.

Highlight: A point or area characterized by brightness of color, value, or direct reflected light.

Hue: The actual name of a color, such as red, orange, blue, etc.

Icon: Greek for "image." In historic art, sacred paintings of the Greek Orthodox Church. In contemporary terms, any art image or object expressing basic values of the culture; any art image or object that creates the impression of being expressive of basic values of a non-specific culture.

Iconic: Art having the quality of an icon.

Idealized: In art, attempting some imagined rather than actual level of perfection.

Illusion: Appearance that is contrary to fact.

Implied Line, Plane, Shape, or Form: Suggested to the eye but not actually present.

Installation: Artform arising in its modern form in the 1970s, featuring site-specific work that creates a complete ensemble or environment to be experienced by the viewer. Judy Pfaff, Terry Allen, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Jonathan Borofsky, Hans Haacke, Nam June Paik, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Bill Viola, Lucas Samaras, Edward Kienholz.

Intent: The central idea or problem that an artist or designer is trying to deal with.

Interior Form: The internal shape described by a hollow work of art.

Junk Sculpture: Assemblage fashioned from castoff products of our society, often mechanical or industrial debris. Appeared first in 1920s and 30s in Picasso, Braque, Julio Gonzales, Marcel Duchamp, and Kurt Schwitters. Gained momentum in 50s in Europe and America. Lee Bonticou, John Chamberlain, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Stankiewicz, Jean Tinguely.

Juxtaposition: Adjacent placement of visual elements.

Kinetic Art: Two and three-dimensional artworks incorporating virtual or real movement. Pol Bury, Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder, Yaacov Agam, George Rickey.

Kitsch: The tacky, low-art artifacts of everyday life, such as Eiffel Tower lamps, black velvet paintings of Elvis, lurid images on romance novels, hallmark iconography… The list is to long.

Line: That element of form that is primarily understood in terms of length and direction.

Linear: Consisting of or based upon lines or line-like divisions in space.
Local Color: The natural color of an object or material.

Low Art: Traditionally refers to common arts, popular arts, applied arts, folk art.

Low Relief: 3-D form that is only slightly raised from a flat background.

Luminosity: the actual or illusory effect of giving off light.

Machine Art: Aesthetic based on machine forms and imagery.

Maquette: A small-scale model of a large sculptural work.

Mass: Perceived weight or density of an object or area.

Media Art: American 1970s art movement emphasizing use of popular mass media in art expression. Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Chris Burden, Joseph Beuys, Guerilla Girls.

Minimalism, Minimal Art: Nonrepresentational art simplified to the maximum, using very few forms and colors. Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, Robert Mangold.

Mixed Media: Combining several different media in one work.

Mobile: A word originally referring to the early work of Alexander Calder, now refers to any suspended kinetic artwork whose movement is powered by a natural force, usually wind.

Modernism: The widely diversified late 19th and early 20th century movement towards less objective or totally subjective art, characterized by the notion of art for art's sake.

Modeling: Shaping work from a pliable material such as clay.

Modifier: Something that changes the perceptual effect of form in space.

Modulation: Smooth transition or change.

Moire Effect: An illusionistic effect caused by close juxtaposition of high contrast lines or waves, overloading the optic nerve. See Op Art.

Monochromatic: Color scheme developed from tints and shades of a single hue; any color scheme emphasizing a very few closely related colors.

Monolithic: Characterized by a primary connected volume.

Motif: An element, frequently the theme of a work, which may be repeated or elaborated on.

Movement, Actual: real physical movement.

Movement, Implied: Abstraction of static realism to create the visual effect of movement in progress, as in Giacomo Balla's study of a walking dog, or Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase."

Movement, Optical: Effect of movement created in 2-D work by the graphic juxtaposition of abstract patterns of contrasting color or value. See Op Art, moire effect.

Movement, Pictorial: Movement depicted realistically in a completely static way - movement frozen in time, as in Degas' horse racing scenes or Gericault's paintings of mounted horsemen.

Movement, Virtual: Effect of movement created by three-dimensional raised layers of patterns or shapes which seem to move as the viewer moves by the work.

Multi-Media: Combination of visual art with popular arts media, such as television or recorded sound.

Multiculturalism: In art, the purposeful incorporation of influences or imagery from multiple cultures.

Multiples: 3-D artwork produced in multiples, either for greater visual/narrative impact, or for broader distribution. Jonathan Borofsky, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Mark di Suvero, Marcel Duchamp, Ellsworth Kelly, Edward Kienholz, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Man Ray, Victor Vasarely.

Naive Art: Art created by individuals lacking in formal training, but often obsessed or driven in the creation of their artwork. Grandma Moses, Simon Rodia, Howard Finster.

Narrative Art: Art in which the primary function is the narration of a specific message or story.

Negative Space: Open space penetrating openings and surrounding the outer contour of a shape or form; the ground in a figure-ground relationship. That space which is controlled or affected by a shape or form.

Neo-Dada: Revival of Dada, primarily in New York City beginning in 1950s, generally incorporating sense of paradox and ambiguity, challenging traditional expectations of art. Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Allan Kaprow, Edward Kienholz, Bruce Conner.

Neo-Expressionism: Art emerging in the 1980s closely allied to early 20th century expressionism. Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Jonathan Borofsky, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Sue Coe, Eric Fischl, Nancy Graves, David Salle, Julian Schnabel.

Neo-Geo: The ultimate obscure 1980s art movement. No single defining characteristic. Ashley Bickerton, Jeff Koons.

Nonlinear: Art that emphasizes organic and/or painterly form and surface, minimizing hard-edged rectilinear form. .

Nonobjective Art: Having no readily identifiable resemblance to recognizable forms or objects.

Nonrepresentational: Art that features no overall recognizable object or scene.

Neutral: Color of very low saturation, approaching gray.

Objective: Referring to objects as they actually are.

Op Art: Style of nonobjective abstraction based on visual sensation known as optical movement, created by graphic juxtaposition of high-contrast abstract patterns, resulting in sensory overload to the optic nerve. See moire effect. Bridget Riley, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Larry Poons, Victor Vasarely, Yaacov Agam.

Opaque: Having the property of blocking all light.

Optical Color Mixing: Colors that occur as a result of visual perception, as along the contact line where two contrasting hues are juxtaposed.

Organic: Having a shape or form referential to biological structures; form emphasizing curved shapes and volumes with minimal angularity.

Outsider Art: Contemporary rt created outside the established traditions of art. Includes folk art and a variety of syntheses of non-mainstream art. The irony is that outsider art has become mainstream. Faith Ringold, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lee Quinones.

Painterly: Surfaces characterized by aggressive, nonlinear application of paint.

Patina: Surface finish composed of a thin transparent film, usually conveys a sense of age or use.

Pattern: A regularly repeating decorative design.

Performance Art: Vague category of art beginning in 1960s encompassing work where the primary feature is enactment before an audience, either directly or documented on video or movie film. Vito Acconci, Scott Burton, Laurie Anderson, Chris Burden, Gilbert & George.

Picture Plane: In 2-D art, the flat plane upon which the image actually exists. Any illusion of depth is said to exist beyond the picture plane.

Pigment: A powdered colorant that is the coloring ingredient for paint and other color media.

Planar: Characterized by juxtaposition of planes.

Plane: That element of form that can be described in two dimensions, predominantly characterized by surface.

Plastic: Any material that may be molded or shaped without adding or subtracting mass.

Pluralism: Art that combines different styles and/or movements.

Point: A real or conceptual mark indicating location but no specific direction or dimension.

Point of View: The distance or angle from which something is seen.

Polychrome; Polychromatic: Multicolor.

Pop Art: 1950s and 60s art movement drawing primary inspiration and imagery from the popular arts. Andy Warhol, Robert Arneson, Jim Dine, Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha.

Popular Arts: Radio, television, cinema, advertising, etc.

Positive Space, Area or Form: The parts of a design that are perceived as being shape or object; the figure in a figure-ground relationship. In 3-D work, that which occupies actual physical space.

Postmodernism: Direction in modern art beginning in the late 1960s involving a shift away from the formalism, optimism, and idealism of Modernism. Modernism specifically sought styles distant from traditional art, also often distant from the imagery and realities of everyday life. Postmodernism reinterprets the past in contemporary terms, reconnecting art and everyday reality, dissolving traditional categorical distinctions such as popular arts, low art, high art, naive art, and folk art.

Post-Painterly Abstraction: After the flurry of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s and 60s, a 1960s movement turning to clearly defined often geometric color-field painting. Gene Davis, Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella.

Potential Energy: The stored energy implied by mass elevated into space, often involving the impression of impending falling or other movement.

Primary Axis: The major axis of a form or object, such as the spine in a human skeleton.

Primary Colors: In color theory, red, yellow, and blue - those colors from which all other colors can theoretically be mixed.

Primary Contour: the shape of the outermost extremity of a form.

Primitivism: The purposeful creation of art that displays primitive and/or tribal qualities. Early examples are Gauguin’s incorporation of Tahitian tribal imagery, and Picasso’s use of imagery from African tribal sculpture. The term is obsolete, because it generally involved tragic misinterpretation of tribal imagery, due largely to the post-colonial idealistic notion of the "noble savage."

Principles of Design: The unifying principles governing composition - variety, contrast, rhythm, repetition, balance, emphasis, economy, and proportion.

Process Art: Art emphasizing the means rather than the results. A process set in motion by the artist determines the end product. Joseph Beuys, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra.

Proportion: Comparative relationship of parts in terms of size, value, color, etc., independent of any specific measurement.

Proximity: Relative nearness of shapes and forms to each other.

Public Art: Art produced for and owned by the community. Often site-specific installation. Alice Aycock, Mary Miss, Joyce Kozloff, Isamu Noguchi, Claus Oldenburg, Albert Paley, Tony Smith, Richard Serra, Alan Sonfist, Mark di Suvero, Jackie Ferrara, Luis Jiminez.

Radial Balance: Balance in all directions around a central point.

Radiation: The quality of form which visually activates an area of space around it.

Readymades: A manufactured functional object from everyday life presented as a work of art for its unintended aesthetic qualities, as in the work of Dadaists Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray.

Realism: Visually accurate representation in art of known objects.

Rectilinear: Composed of straight lines, as opposed to curvilinear.

Regionalism: Art that emphasizes positive narrative content specific to a particular geographic region.

Referential: Having the property of resemblance to an identifiable object, idea, or emotion.

Relief: 3-D form rising from a 2-D surface.

Relief Sculpture: A sculptural work where the image is carved inward or built outward from a two-dimensional surface.

Repetition: Occurrence more than once. One of the basic unifying principles in design - can be repetition of shape, color, position, direction, etc.

Representational: Art that objectively represents things.

Rhythm: An arrangement of visual features in a measured sequence.

Saturation: The measure of brightness or intensity in a color.

Scale: Size of an object or the elements that compose it, in relation to the surroundings or the external world.

Secondary Colors: Colors achieved by mixing adjacent primary colors; orange, green, and purple.

Secondary Contours: Forms developed within the outer boundaries of a work.

Semiotics: The science which studies signs and symbols used in communication. Since the 1960s, an important way of interpreting visual art.

Shaped Canvas: In painting, an unconventionally-shaped 2-D canvas, or a 3-D object or surface which is used as a substrate for conventional painting media.

Signifier: A mark or symbol that communicates a concept or idea.

Simulation, Simulationism, Simulacrum: Beginning in 1980s, art which emphasizes appropriation of multiple objects or images form contemporary culture as a comment on the whole notion of originality. Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum.

Simultaneous Contrast: Exaggerated visual contrast resulting when two highly-contrasting colors are juxtaposed. See optical color mixing and color vibration.

Site-specific: referring to works designed for and installed in a specific location.

Social Realism: Beginning in 1920s, narrative art which addresses contemporary issues of social injustice or decay. Edward Hopper, Charles Burchfield, Reginald Marsh.

Space: Total area of design consideration; total area affected by a design.

Spatial Orientation: The physical relationship of an object to its surroundings.

Spatial Presence: Total field of space defined by a work, including activated space.

Stabile: Alexander Calder’s term for a free standing mobile.

Static Form: Without movement, implied or actual.

Subjectivity: Concern with the ideas, thoughts, or feelings of the artist rather than the external verifiable qualities of objectivity.

Subtractive Color Mixing: creating color with pigments, where added pigment results in a darker value, subtracting from reflected light. All colors combined give black.

Subtractive Sculpture: Creation of a sculpture by carving away from a large piece of material.

Surface: The planar areas of an objects which are exposed to the viewer.

Surrealism: Art based on dreamlike images from the subconscious.

Symbol: A figure or character signifying some concept, idea, or emotion beyond its visual appearance. See semiotics.

Symmetrical Balance: 2-D or 3-D form that is a mirror image on either side of a central axis.

Symmetry: Degree to which form and/or elements are arranged in mirror image on either side of a central axis. See symmetrical balance and asymmetrically balance.

Superrealism: Extremely accurate representation of actual 3-D objects.

Tactile: Appealing to the sense of touch, either actually or visually.

Temporal: Relating to change occurring over time.

Textural Field: A broad area with a unified texture.

Texture: The tactile aspect of surface, actual or implied.

Thermoplastic: material which becomes plastic with the application of heat.

Totem; Totemic: form composed of stacked parts that show visual or narrative distinction between the parts.

Topographic: Area of surface referencing a rise or fall in elevation. Relating to cartography. Representation of the surface features of a place or region on a map, indicating their relative positions and elevations. Can be used especially in relief work but also to study in the round objects and the figure.

Trompe L’Oeil: Literally, "fool the eye" in French - optical illusion which convinces us we are seeing actual form or space when it does not exist. Or in 3-d work the work is so real that it visually becomes the object it is intending to represent.

Transition: Area featuring contrast or change from one quality or appearance to another.

Unifier: A formal or narrative element which allows a viewer to visually or conceptually connect or group various components of an image or object.

Unity: Organization of parts, visual and conceptual, so that all contribute to a coherent whole.

Utilitarianist: An artist who creates objects that encompass conceptual concerns but who’s primary focus is on objects that also have a function related to a specific use.

Value: Relative degree of lightness or darkness.

Value Contrast: Juxtaposition of light and dark areas.

Value Pattern: The total overall pattern of lights and darks in an image or object.

Vertical Balance: Distribution of visual emphasis determining impression of lightness or heaviness in a work.

Visual Density: Concentration of visual elements activating a localized area.

Visual Texture: The illusion of texture on a 2-D or 3-D form.

Void: see negative space.

Volume: A containment of space enclosed or implied by points, lines, or planes.

Warm Colors: Those in the red, orange, and yellow range.

Zeitgeist: In German, "spirit of the time" or "what’s in the air." In art, the essential character, atmosphere, and expression of a particular situation or period. Also can be thought about as the bandwagon or what is in style.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz: What happens to the viewer if your work is boring.