The Styles of Art UNIT IV

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1
English for Design II
Prepared by : Indra Tj
UNIT IV
The Styles of Art
The concept of style is indispensable for the study of art, and yet it can
confuse us because the word has so many meanings. Usually, it means the
art of a particular historical period, but it may also refer to the art of a nation
(the Italian Renaissance), or a region (the Barbizon style) or a group of
artists (the Pre-Raphaelites). It can designate an individual artist’s manner
(Titianesque, Rubensian, Cezannes-que), or it can refer to a technical or
artistic approach (Color Divisionism, Pointillism, Photorealism).
Style can also be used as a term of approval : “He (or she) has style.” Or, it
may refer to a new look in cars, clothes, and kitchen appliances; here “style”
is equivalent to the latest fad or fashion. All the uses of the concept have one
purpose-the arrangement of a variety of objects into categories that make
them easier to recognize, understand, and talk about. At the most general
level, therefore, a style is a grouping or classification of artworks (by time,
region, appearance, technique, etc) that makes further study and analysis
possible.
As with scientific classification, the sorting of phenomena into categories is
based on the observation of common traits or qualities. Style of art,
therefore, can be thought of as families. Just as members of a family have
features which give them a “family resemblance,” works of art may also look
like each other. They may have differences, too, but they have some
common traits which we can see or sense, and that makes classifications
possible.
That recognizable element may consist of a certain use of line, color, or
shape: or it may be felt in a qualitative sense. In other words, style may be
visible on the surface of an artwork or in its overall feeling. This overall, or
pervasive quality of a work is often the basis for its classification; stylistic
terms like “classical” and “romantic” seem to rely on the viewer’s feeling
about an artwork as much as on the artist’s technique.
With an understanding of styles, we can read the so-called hidden language
of art. Style helps us find meanings beneath the subject matter and apparent
purpose of an artwork. Just as handwriting reveals meanings that are not in
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English for Design II
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words alone, style can tell us much about an artist’s environment, values,
and heritage.
Indeed, archaeologists and anthropologists use style to reconstruct whole
cultures : they put pieces of stylistic evidence together like a mosaic, trying
to form a complete picture or idea of a culture. Similarly, we can study an art
style to build an idea of the inner condition of an artist, a people, or perhaps
the evolution of human consciousness as a whole.
STYLISTIC CHANGE
Although several styles may coexist-especially in modern culture-there have
been periods when a single style was dominant. However, every style is
succeeded by another, and in recent years styles have succeeded each other
very rapidly. Of all the styles described by art history, only folk or peasant
styles seem to persist regardless of social change-a phenomenon which is
probably due to the isolation of folk cultures; consequently, folk and peasant
art is disappearing. This disappearance calls attention to the dynamic
character of styles in the mainstream cultures.
In the mainstream cultures, then, what accounts for stylistic change? New
scientific knowledge? New forms of technology? Fresh artistic response to the
social and spiritual environment? Can we say that artists invent styles out of
whole cloth, so to speak? Do styles catch fire, grow into conflagrations, and
then burn them-selves out?
Scholarly answers to these questions differ according to the discipline of the
observer. Art historians may attribute stylistic change to artists working out
the possibilities of the style they have inherited. Critics may see artists
generating whole new ways of seeing-ways that become part of our common
visual and emotional equipment. Social scientists may attribute stylistic
change to shifts in the political and economic climate; thus artists react more
than they innovate. I am inclined to believe they do all these things: they
react and they invent; they inherit and they transform.
Why do we try to explain stylistic change? Because we suspect that changes
in style may anticipate changes in life as a whole. Perhaps a style that many
artists adopt represents a form of adaptation to change in the total culture.
In that case, artists act as social antennae-as scouts, heralds, and
prophesiers. Also, there is the possibility that artists cause changes in the
way people see the world and cope with their experience.
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In other words, artists may be the ship’s rudder rather than its radar.
Regardless of our views about stylistic change, we think we can recognize the
emergence of new styles and the decline of old ones. They seem to have the
traits of living organism;
We speak of their life cycles as if they were flowers that bud, bloom, and
wilt; like people they have a childhood, maturity, and old age. These
analogies may be inexact but they cal attention to something we are all
aware of: style seems to have a secret connection to large trends in human
affairs.
The reasons for studying the styles, then are as follows:
(1) to acquire useful categories for thinking about the common fruits
of artworks produced at various times and place;
(2) to understand the artists, periods, countries, and regions in whose
art a style frequently reappears;
(3) to compare or judge works of art that seem related by look or
feeling or subject matter;
(4) to understand the connections between an artist’s creative
strategy and our reactions to his or her work;
(5) to get special information-“inside dope”-about imp-pending social
changes.
A.
Understanding the passage.
Answer the questions!
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
What does the word “style” usually mean?
What is the main purpose of the uses of style concept?
Why can style be thought of as families ?
What is the basis for art classification ?
What is the relationship between style and handwriting ?
What do archaeologists and anthropologists use style for ?
What are the reasons of studying the style of art ?
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B.
Find the main Idea.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Styles mean Art.
Styles mean fashion.
The styles of art never change.
The styles of art can be confusing because of some changes.
C.
Vocabulary
1. Translate the following words into Bahasa Indonesia.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
2.
Indispensable
yet
fad
designate
trait
overall
pervasive
apparent
evidence
co-exist
to persist
peasant
mainstream
scholarly
inherit
adopt
antennae
prophesiers
heralds
scouts
ship’s rudder
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
Find the synonyms of the following words.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
indispensable =
appliances =
region =
visible =
equivalent =
6. classifications =
7. common =
8. mainstream =
9. to adopt =
10. recognize =
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3.
Find the antonyms of the following words.
1.
2.
3.
4.
confuse x
objects x
surface x
consciousness x
5.
6.
7.
8.
rapidly x
disappearance x
critics x
childhood x
D. Structure : Verbs + Preposition
1. These verbs and prepositions (to/of/at /on/for/about) usually go
together :
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
listen to …….
talk to …….
talk about …….
belong to ……
happen to
6) wait for ……..
7) ask (somebody) for ………
8) thank (somebody) for ……..
9) depend on
10) look at …….
11) look after …..
Complete the sentences with a preposition (to/for/about) .
1. Thank you very much ………. your help.
2. This is not my bicycle. It belongs …….. a friend of mine.
3. Hello, can I speak …….. Mr. Davis, please?
4. What happened ……… Mary last night?
5. Jack is thinking about going to Australia next year.
6. I looked …….. the newspaper but I didn’t read it carefully.
7. Goodbye! Have a nice holiday and look ………. Yourselves.
8. Barry is looking …. A job.
9. Thank you …….. calling me. Goodbye!
10.We asked the waiter …… coffee, but he brought us tea.
E. Writing
Summarize the text above in Bahasa Indonesia.
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