Rethinking the Forms of Visual Expression

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University of California Press, Feb 5, 1990 - Architecture - 139 pages
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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Polar Variables
On Architecture and Its Allied Arts

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About the author (1990)

Robert Sowers is a painter, photographer, and specialist on stained glass. He has published several works including Stained Glass: An Architectural Art (1965) and The Language of Stained Glass (1981).

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