Rethinking the Forms of Visual Expression
Robert Sowers begins this book by questioning our conception of the visual arts--painting, sculpture, and architecture--as autonomous, archetypal entities that can be defined independent of one another in terms of their materials and techniques. He cuts through the limits of categorization we have come to accept to lay the groundwork for a coherent theory of the relation between the visual arts. He proposes that we treat the pictorial, the sculptural, and the architectural not as palpable physical "things" but as activities--the basic forms of visual expression employed to create such distinct artifacts as paintings, statues, and buildings.
By defining the expressive function of each art, Sowers helps us to understand what we mean when we speak of the sculptural qualities of architecture or the pictorial qualities of sculpture. The world of visual art then is a structured whole, a world in which the arts can meet, merge with, and mutually reinforce or swear at one another, often in unexpected yet compelling ways.
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On Architecture and Its Allied Arts
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