The notion of art raises many disputes and controversies. As any broad term art is hard to define. Different sources give different definitions of this term. Most of the dictionaries define art as: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” (Definition of art at YourDictionary.com, n.d.). Another definition from the dictionary defines art as “the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection” (Definition of Art at Dictionary.com, n.d.).
Different genres of art may give better understanding of the very notion of art.
Painting probably one of the most famous forms of art. Through the history of mankind painting was used as a mean to represent reality and to express the inner world of the artists. Henri Matisse is defined as one of the most influential French painters of the 20th century. Matisse used Expressionism to create his masterpieces. His Flower in a Pitcher is a bright example of Expressionist art (Flowers in a Pitcher, n.d.). The painting perfectly fits the definition of art because it becomes the way of the author to express his personal feelings and ideas according to the aesthetic principles.
Sculpture is also a form of art. Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici by Giovanni Battista Foggini is anexample of Italian, sculpture of the end of 17th century (Giovanni Battista Foggini: Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, 2008). Foggini, is remembered as an outstanding sculptor of the Florentine Baroque. His sculptures belong to the category of art because they correspond to aesthetic criteria and show not ordinary means to represent reality.
Architecture is also a form of art as it uses creative technologies in building. Bernard Tschumi Architects’ New Acropolis Museum in Athens is a perfect example of architecture art as it perfectly corresponds to the definition of art (Esto Galleries: New Acropolis Museum). It includes a unique expression of the author, design is beautiful and appealing. The building is definitely an outstanding object which possess unique aesthetic characteristics.
Photography is a comparatively young form of art. It appeared due to technical progress and invention of different types of cameras. This invention gave birth to new kind of art which enabled artists to portray reality in a new way. Castildetierra by Gorka Lopez is a beautiful artistic landscape (Castildetierra: Photo by Gorka Lopez, n.d.). This photo may definitely be attributed to the category of art as it presents unique and original depiction of reality, which differs from ordinary representation.
Printmaking, which is defined as “broadly, the production of images normally on paper and exceptionally on fabric, parchment, plastic or other support by various processes of multiplication; more narrowly, the making and printing of graphic works by hand or under the supervision of the artist,” is also a form of art (A definition of “printmaking” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica). Modern technologies allow different materials for this kind of art. The print Alchemy by Mamta Herland is a digital print on acid-free watercolour paper (A Selection of Digital Prints, Digital Print Alchemy). The work is abstract and possesses aesthetic values. This makes it possible to attribute it to the art objects.
Conceptual art is a new kind of art which reflects the tendencies of our epoch. This kind of art is based on the concept that art does not necessarily require a physical form. Artists who use this genre believe that idea is more important than its physical realization. This movement emerged in the beginning of the 20th century. European Dada movement became its main foundation. The Abandoned Hunt is a lithograph by Richard Day ( Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, The Abandoned Hunt: Richard Day, n.d.). This work belongs to conceptual art and despite this form of art overcomes the means of realization applied in conventional art it still meets the criteria of artwork.
Installation art is another form of contemporary art. In installation art an artist uses the interior as a part of the art work. This kind of art aims to create complex and deep associations among the audience. Usually installation works are three-dimensional. After The Last Supper, by Devorah Sperber is an installation presented inside a Catholic Church (Rock My Religion, fter Rock My Religion, by Devorah Sperber). The installation is composed of pools of thread, aluminum ball chain, stainless steel hanging apparatus, acrylic sphere, metal stand. Despite the unusual form of presentation the work accomplishes main function of art – it delivers original message of the author in original and innovative manner.
Performance art is a combination of decoration art, installation art and drama. This kind of art includes live people who act like art objects. Fischerspooner by Casey Spooner at the Museum of Modern Art is a nice example of performance art where the group of artists tries to express their ideas to the audience (Fischerspooner by Casey Spooner at the Museum of Modern Art). This work of art includes expression, originality and it is definitely appealing to the audience. Thus it may be attributed to the genre of art according to the definitions of art.