Art Fundamentals: Theory and also PracticeOcvirk, Stinson, Wigg, Bone, CaytonTwelfth EditionChapter 1Introductionpp. 10-13


Subject, form, and also content have constantly been the three an easy components that a work of art, and they room wed in a means that is inseparable. In general, subject might be assumed of as the "what" (the topic, focus, or image); form, as the "how" (the development of the work, composition, or the substantiation); and also content, as the "why" (the artist"s intention, communication, or meaning behind the work).

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Subject
The subject of visual art have the right to be a person, an object, a theme, or an idea. Though there are many and varied means of presenting the subject matter, that is only necessary to the degree that the artist is motivated by it. Objective images, i beg your pardon represent world or objects, look as close as feasible to your real-world counterparts and also can be clearly identified. These species of pictures are also called representational.
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Dennis Wojtkiewicz, Kiwi series #1, 2005. Oil on canvas, 36 x 66 in.
Marilyn Levine, Anne"s Jacket, 1999. Ceramic, 36 x 20 1/2 x 7 1/4 in.
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Gus Heinze, Expresso Cafe, 2003. Acrylic ~ above gessoed panel, 32 x 35 1/2 in.
Artists who explore the process of abstraction (simplification and also rearrangement) develop images the look less like the thing on i beg your pardon they are based, although they may still it is in recognizable.
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Barbara Chase-Riboud, Bathers, 1973. Floor relief, cast aluminum and also silk in sixteen pieces, 400 x 400 x 12 cm.

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Piet Mondrian, The Grey Tree, 1911. Oil top top canvas, 30 1/2 x 42 7/8 in.
Ismael Rodriguez Rueda, El Sueno de Erasmo (The Dream of Erasmus), 1995. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 47 1/2 in.
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DeLoss McGraw’s “The Story of Eutychus,” mixed-media
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Marcel Duchamp, Nude Decending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912 Oil ~ above canvas, 58 x 35 in.
Harold E. Edgerton, Baseball hit-fly ball, 1950s-1970s. Gelatin silver print
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In the many extreme type of abstraction, the topic does no refer to any physical object, and this nonrepresentational image is thus considered non-objective. Here, the subject might be an overwhelming for the observer come identify, because it is based solely on the facets of art rather than real-life civilization or objects. This kind of subject regularly refers come the artist"s idea around energy and movement, which travel guide the use of raw materials, and it communicates with those who have the right to read the language the form.
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Piet Mondrian, Composition, 1916. Oil on canvas and also wood strip, 47 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.
Music, favor visual art, encounters subjects and provides an amazing comparison. Uneven there space lyrics, the is regularly hard to determine a specific subject in a item of music. Sometimes, the subject is recognizable - the thunderstorms and birdsongs in Beethoven"s Pastoral Symphony or the taxi horns in Gershwin"s An American in Paris. Other times, however, the topic is an ext abstract, and also it is an feel or idea the comes throughout strongly in the music. Aaron Copland"s Fanfare for the typical Man is a great example the this: that does not shot to define the subject literally yet creates a nobel, accessible, and also uplifting musical design template that honors the plight that the common man. In a similar way, nonobjective art looks for to existing a much more general theme or idea together the subject.
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Mark Rothko, Number 10, 1950. Oil top top canvas, 7 ft. 6 3/8 in. X 4 ft. 9 1/8 in.
Regardless that the type of art, the many important factor to consider is what is done v the subject. ~ you recognize the subject in a work (whether that is apparent or not), ask you yourself whether the artist has offered it expression.
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Jackson Pollock, Autumn rate (Number 30), 1950. Oil ~ above canvas, 8 ft. 9 in. X 17 ft. 3 in.
Charles Sheeler, Golden Gate, 1955. Oil on canvas, 25 1/8 in. X 34 7/8 in.
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As a ingredient of art, words form refers to the complete overall arrangement or organization of one artwork. It outcomes from utilizing the facets of art, providing them order and an interpretation through the ethics of organization. Once studying a work"s form, us are analyzing how the piece was created. An ext specifically, we room examing why the artist made certain choices and how those selections interact to kind the artwork"s final appearance. In this sense, words form may actually be thought of as a verb fairly than a noun. The elements of art, which encompass line, texture, color, shape, and also value, are the most basic, indispensable, and also immediate structure blocks for expression. Your characteristics, figured out by the artist"s an option of media and also techniques, can connect a wide selection of complicated feelings. Every artists must attend to the elements singularly or in combination, and also their organization contributes come the aesthetic success or fail of a work. based on the to plan expression, every artist have the right to arrange the elements in any manner the builds the wanted character right into the piece. However, the facets are given order and also meaningful structure when arranged follow to the ethics of organization, which aid integrate and organize the elements. These principles encompass harmony, variety, balance, proportion, dominance, movement, and economy. They help create spatial relationships and effectively convey the artist"s intent. The principles of company are flexible, no dogmatic, and also can be linked and applied in countless ways. Some artist kinds intuitively, and others are more calculating, yet with experience, all of them construct an instinctive emotion for organizing their work. So necessary are these principles of elements and also principles the they are studied separately.

The emotionally or pundit message the a work of arts is that content - a statement, expression, or mood emerged by the artist and interpreted by the observer. That the three components of art, content might be the most challenging to identify, because the audience, there is no direct interaction with the artist, need to decipher the artist"s thoughts by observing the work"s subject and form. For example, in Young Girl in the Lap of Death, the striking emphasis of the left-to-right diagonals, the sharp contrasts that light and dark values, and the wild and an effective drawing strokes give us some insight into Kathe Kollwitz"s worry for life, though we might not know the depth of she passion.

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Kathe Kollwitz, Young Girl in the Lap of Death, 1934. Crayon lithograph, 42 x 38 cm.

Ideally, the viewer"s translate is synchronized with the artist"s intentions. However, the viewer"s diversity of experiences can impact the communication in between artist and viewer. For plenty of people, content is identified by your familiarity through the subject; they are confined come feelings aroused by objects or ideas they know. A much more comprehensive and ultimately an ext meaningful contents is not utterly reliant top top the image yet is reinforced by the form. This is specifically so in much more abstract works, in i m sorry the viewer may not acknowledge the picture as a recognized object and also must, thefore, interpret an interpretation from shapes and other elements. Photos that room hardly recognizable, if representational at all, can still provide content if the observer knows just how to interpert form.

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Occasionally, artists may be unaware the what motivates them to make specific choices of picture or form. Because that them, the content of the piece might be subconscious instead of deliberate. For example, an artist who has had a violent confrontation v a neighbor can subconciously need to express rage (content) and is thus compelled to work wit spicy jagged shapes, bitterness acrid reds, slashing agitated marks (form), and also exploding pictures (subject). periodically the an interpretation of nonobjective forms becomes clean in the artist"s mind only after castle evolve and mutate top top the canvas. Although that is no a necessity for enjoy it artwork, a small research around the artist"s life, time period, or culture can help expand viewpoints and lead to a fuller interpretation of content. For example, a deeeper understanding of Vincent van Gogh"s details and an individual use of color may be got by analysis Van Gogh"s letter to his brothers Theo. His letters expressed one evolving belief that shade conveyed specific feelings and also attitudes and also was much more that a mere optical experience. He felt the his use of color could emit power choose Wagner"s music. The letters additionally revealed a developing an individual color iconography, in i m sorry red and also green symbolized the damaging sinful passions that humanity; black contour lines detailed a feeling of anguish; cobalt blue signified the vault of heaven, and yellow symbolized love. Because that Van Gogh, shade was not strictly a device for intuitive imitation but an instrument to transmit his an individual emotions. Shade symbolism might not have been provided in all his paintings, yet an expertise of his intent helps explain some that his choices and also the strength in his work.