How to speak art
Know your art lingo ahead of Art Dubai Discuss this article
- Picture 1 of 2
This style uses lines, colours and shapes to distort objects, themes and ideas so that the viewer approaches them in a different way. Abstract master Pablo Picasso’s work fell under this umbrella, but the Spanish artist was also credited with co-founding the early 20th century Cubist movement, where art was dissected and then reassembled.
■ Art nouveau
We know it’s French for ‘new art’, but what does that mean? Picture a vintage poster for a French film and you’re halfway there. Art Nouveau also applies to both architecture and design and the style is characterised by the flowing of Italian-style sculptures, flowers, leaves and animals into a symbiotic piece. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a prominent figure in the movement.
Ever looked at a painting and felt like you wanted to cry? Much like interpretive dancing – its modern day equivalent – this style is characterised by its ability to evoke emotions, moods and ideas. Expressionism originated in Germany at the turn of the 20th century, and Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting ‘The Scream’ was considered a high point.
If you’re looking at a bare body (on a canvas), then chances are you’ve clapped eyes on figurative art. This term refers to art and sculptures that have strong references to reality, such as the human form or animals. Think Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas.
Although the title would suggest bigger things, this movement, which originated in the 19th century, is defined by its thin brushstrokes, unambiguous composition and stale subject matter. It’s not a criticism of the artworks themselves, but rather a style of accurately representing light and movement, as seen in this piece by 19th century French artist Claude Monet.
This relatively recent movement was established in New York in the ’60s and ’70s, and sought to expose the subject by excluding all other superfluous components. American artists Frank Stella and Donald Judd are both significant contributors to the style.
This movement came about in the not-so-modern turn of the 20th century, at a time when artists of the era felt the existing art and ideas no longer related to the industrialised world in which they were now living. Self-consciousness and autonomy are two defining characteristics of the movement, which also involved using works of the past in parody-form. French graphic artist Henri Matisse is one such example.
■ Organic shapes
No, not the vegetables. Organic shapes refer to free-form objects on canvas that are non-geometric and are often used to give off a sense of peace and calm. Organic shapes are fluid and natural in form, such as clouds, leaves, plants and animals compared to the hard lines of a triangle, rectangle or square.
It is what it is. At least, that’s what realism would have you believe. This form of art was known to depict subjects from a third-person, un-biased perspective. It usually revealed itself in two spheres: depicting nature as it was, colours and all and factually representing the day-to-day lives of people of the era. French painter Gustave Courbet led the movement in the 19th century.
‘Woah, what am I looking at?’ ‘Oh, that’s just a leg attached to a face, attached to a clock that is holding an umbrella.’ Conversations like this mostly arise when faced with Surrealism. The movement is known for its element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions. World famous Spanish artist Salvador Dali was, in layman’s terms, the daddy of this movement.
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2013 The best nightlife in Dubai revealed
Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 Revealed: The best places to eat in Dubai
Best Selling Events
- Zumbathon® Charity Event
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (Friday Show)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (Saturday Show)
- The Laughter Factory
- How To Catch A Star (4.30pm Show)
Our favourite features
31 weekend escapes Ever wanted to just get up, get dressed and escape the busy city?
25 amazing summer holiday ideas Barbados, China, Italy, Thailand and more top summer festivals
10 to try: Family road trips East coast, wildlife park, desert safari and more boredom-busting trips
Dubai's most beautiful gardens We peek over the fence at some of Dubai's best gardens
10 hottest new clubs and bars in Dubai Hollywood ping pong, theatre antics and more top new nightpots
25 top Dubai brunches Looking for a weekend feast? Try these brunch offers in Dubai
Dubai in 2030 What does the future hold in store for Dubai
Best Indian restaurants in Dubai Where to find the best Indian food in Dubai
Dubai World Cup 2013: Ladies Best dressed women at the Meydan Racecourse for the Dubai World Cup
Restaurant Awards: winners 2013 Time Out reveals the best restaurants in Dubai
Time Out Nightlife Award winners Best DJs, clubs, bars and parties in Dubai revealed
10 best steakhouses in Dubai Vegetarians look away as Time Out reveals the 10 best steakhouses in Dubai