THE VISUAL ARTS PORTAL

Introduction

Vincent van Gogh painting The Church at Auvers from 1890 gray church against blue sky
The Church at Auvers, an oil painting by Vincent van Gogh (1890)

The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts, and architecture. Many artistic disciplines, such as performing arts, conceptual art, and textile arts, also involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts, such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design, and decorative art.

Current usage of the term "visual arts" includes fine art as well as applied or decorative arts and crafts, but this was not always the case. Before the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, the term 'artist' had for some centuries often been restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the decorative arts, crafts, or applied visual arts media. The distinction was emphasized by artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who valued vernacular art forms as much as high forms. Art schools made a distinction between the fine arts and the crafts, maintaining that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of the arts. The increasing tendency to privilege painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, above other arts has been a feature of Western art as well as East Asian art. In both regions, painting has been seen as relying to the highest degree on the imagination of the artist and being the furthest removed from manual labour – in Chinese painting, the most highly valued styles were those of "scholar-painting", at least in theory practiced by gentleman amateurs. The Western hierarchy of genres reflected similar attitudes. (Full article...)

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The Burnham Pavilions were public sculptures by Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel in Millennium Park, which were located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. Both pavilions were located in the Chase Promenade South. Their purpose was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago, and symbolize the city's continued pursuit of the Plan's architectural vision with contemporary architecture and planning. The sculptures were privately funded and reside in Millennium Park. The pavilions were designed to be temporary structures.

Both Pavilions were scheduled to be unveiled on June 19, 2009. However, the Pavilion by Hadid endured construction delays and a construction team change, which led to nationwide coverage of the delay in publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Only its skeleton was availed to the public on the scheduled date, and the work was completed and unveiled on August 4, 2009. The van Berkel pavilion endured a temporary closure due to unanticipated wear and tear from August 10–14. (Full article...)
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The Tetons and the Snake River by Ansel Adams
The Tetons and the Snake River by Ansel Adams
The Tetons and the Snake River by Ansel Adams
Credit: National Archives and Records Administration
Ansel Adams, whose The Tetons and the Snake River (1942, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming) is pictured here, is best known for his black and white photographs of California's Yosemite Valley.

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The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.
Marcel Duchamp, The Creative Act (1957)


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Self-portrait, oil painting, 1915

Kanae Yamamoto (山本 鼎, IPA: [ka.na.e], 24 October 1882 – 8 October 1946) was a Japanese artist, known primarily for his prints and yōga Western-style paintings. He is credited with originating the sōsaku-hanga ("creative prints") movement, which aimed at self-expressive printmaking, in contrast to the commercial studio systems of ukiyo-e and shin-hanga. He initiated movements in folk arts and children's art education that continue to be influential in Japan.

Kanae trained as a wood engraver in the Western style before studying Western-style painting. While at art school he executed a two-colour print of a fisherman he had sketched on a trip to Chiba. Its publication ignited an interest in the expressive potential of prints that developed into the sōsaku-hanga movement. Kanae spent 1912 to 1916 in Europe and brought ideas back to Japan gleaned from exhibitions of peasant crafts and children's art in Russia. In the late 1910s he founded movements that promoted creative peasant crafts and children's art education; the latter quickly gained adherents but was suppressed under Japan's growing militarism. These ideas experienced a revival after World War II. (Full article...)
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