Study of Visual Images





Study of Visual Images

Representational Art

In paintings, sculptures and other forms of images, representational art can be described as the depiction of images as they are, and which does not require much interpretation from an audience. These figures are drawn clearly and are identifiable by most people immediately. These forms of art may include figures such as trees, the human body, cars, streets, landscapes, among others. This form of art depicts the physical form that is consistent with reality. It depicts an object or series of objects that form part of people’s day-to-day lives. An example of this type of painting is that of Arnolfini Marriage by Van Eyck. Painted in 1434, it depicts two human figures, Arnolfini and his wife standing in front of a room. The mirror is also used to reflect the special dimensions of the room. As such, it is a representation of reality. Another example of representational art is The Rocky Mountains painted by the American artist Albert Bierstadt. The painting clearly depicts a range of mountains from a distant. It shows sharp peaks that are covered by clouds from a distance. The sheer distance together with the cloudy appearance shows that these peaks are high.

Abstract Art

Abstract art was a trend developed in the early twentieth century. This form of art does not seek to represent art in its vivid images, but rather employs new shapes and colors to represent them. In art, abstraction implies a deviation from reality, and can be partial or complete in nature. Therefore, abstract art can be said to exist on a continuum between realism and imagery. As such, abstract art can be diverse in that it can be able to partially represent an image that is recognizable or not able to represent anything at all. A good example of abstract art is The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. This painting can be classified under partial abstract art. One can be able to recognize a village depicted at night, and whose heavenly bodies such as the moon and stars give abundant light. Another example is Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp. It consists of nested body parts in the form of shapes. The abstract elements of the body parts are nested together to illustrate movement down a staircase.

Non-objective Art

Also known as, concrete art, non-objective art describes any type of artwork that does not hold any physical illustration to the natural world. It uses forms and shapes in the form of geometry to represent other forms of images that are subject to a variety of interpretations to the audience. It also uses color, brushstrokes, size, scale, and process to depict these shapes. An example of non-objective art is the Dispersion by Julie Mehretu. This painting depicts lines and shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and trapeziums painted in different colors over a beige background. The shapes cover the entire space of the painting, and thus an audience can be able to interpret the illustration in many different ways. Another example is the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich. This painting depicts a black square in which shapes and forms are visible, but do not hold any specific meaning for the general audience. Kazimir painted the Black square to to represent a form of art that was free from the mainstream subjectivity that was evident in the representational and abstract art.

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