The Meaning of Art: The Progression of the Definition
I. Introduction - Thesis statement
II. Early Art
III. Religion and Art
IV. Africa and Art
V. Modern Art
The definition of art has shifted and changed over time and across cultures. The purpose of this research paper is to discover if the definition of art has actually changed by looking at certain artists, fundamental differences in styles, and the intent of art over its history. Many aspects of art come into play when determining the answer to this question. It’s certainly a topic that must begin at the earliest known origin and move forward chronologically so that these three main issues can ...view middle of the document...
So there are representational or mimetic definitions, expressive definitions, and formalist definitions, which hold that artworks are characterized by their possession of, respectively, representational, expressive, and formal properties. It is not difficult to find fault with these simple definitions.”
It seems there are many varying definitions that apply to art but the one mainstay is that there must be certain intentional properties for a piece to be art. It is subjective but in the end anything and everything cannot be art or there wouldn’t be a specific term; art, used to define it. In my opinion the person that thinks just anything can be art is confusing art with creativity. Everything that’s made takes creativity but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything made is art. Art takes deep thought, imagination, and creativity and accomplishes a specific goal. It accomplishes or intends to accomplish something for the person looking at it. The artist uses every "stroke of the brush" with a clear purpose. He or she designs the work with a specific goal in mind.
Early artists drew on the walls of caves to show expression. They painted scenes of predators, prey, humans, and hunting scenes. Artchive.com states that early artists were quite sophisticated for their time. “…great ingenuity was displayed by artists. At Lascaux we have found pestles and mortars in which colours were mixed, together with no less than 158 different mineral fragments from which the mixtures were made. There seems to have been no shortage of pigment large lumps have been found at some sites. Shells of barnacles were used as containers. One master employed a human skull. Cave water and the calcium it contained were used as mixers, and vegetable and animal oils as binders. The artists had primitive crayons and they applied the paint with brush tools, though none has survived. All kinds of devices and implements were used to aid art. Important lines were preceded by dots, which were then Joined up. Sometimes paint was sprayed. Stencils were used. Blow pipes made from bird bones served as tubes for applying paint. By these means, the more experienced Magdalenian painters were able to produce polychrome art.” The use of colors, binding agents and tools to get the material to the walls such as brushes, blow tools, and crayons is remarkable for the time period. The purpose for the art is mostly to tell a story and make a connection with the animals they hunted and also feared. The definition at that time is not complex. It might not even have been defined.
In the years to come there were many things in society that effected and directed art. Religion was a main component of daily life that created a bond between people so it was only natural that they compose images and sculptures to solidify that bond. Christianity was one of many religions that impacted the definition of art. As seen in Getlein’s text on page 346, the...