The Methodologies of Art: An Introduction

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Westview Press, 2010 - Art - 286 pages
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Since the nineteenth century, when art history became an established academic discipline, works of art have been “read” in a variety of ways. These different ways of describing and interpreting art are the methodologies of artistic analysis, the divining rods of meaning. Regardless of a work's perceived difficulty, an art object is, in theory, complex. Every work of art is an expression of its culture (time and place) and its maker (the artist) and is dependent on its media (what it's made of). The methodologies discussed here—formal analysis, iconology and iconography, Marxism, feminism, biography and autobiography, psychoanalysis, structuralism, race and gender—reflect the multiplicity of meanings in an artistic image. The second edition includes nineteen new images, new sections on race, gender, orientalism and colonialism, along with a new epilogue that approaches a single painting to illustrate the different methodological viewpoints.

1. What Is Art?
2. Formalism and Style
3. Iconography
4. Contextual Approaches I: Marxism, Orientalism, Colonialism, and Racial Iconography
5. Contextual Approaches II: Feminism and Gender
6. Biography and Autobiography
7. Semiotics I: Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
8. Semiotics II: Deconstruction
9. Psychoanalysis I: Freud
10. Psychoanalysis II: Winnicott and Lacan
11. Aesthetics and Psychoanalysis: Roger Fry and Roland Barthes

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The methodologies of art: an introduction

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Because works of art can be interpreted in a variety of ways, this book surveys "methodologies," diverse approaches to artistic analysis used by art historians, philosophers, and critics to enlighten ... Read full review


What Is Art?
Formalism and Style

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About the author (2010)

Laurie Schneider Adams received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and is professor of art history at John Jay College, CUNY. Her books include A History of Western Art and Italian Renaissance Art.

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