Contents 1 Definition 2 Theories 3 Distinctions 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links


Definition[edit] Chinese jade ornament with grapes vine (1115–1234 CE) Leadlight window from the 1920s Gold and enamel purse clasp, Saxon A work of art in the visual arts is a physical two- or three- dimensional object that is professionally determined or otherwise considered to fulfill a primarily independent aesthetic function. A singular art object is often seen in the context of a larger art movement or artistic era, such as: a genre, aesthetic convention, culture, or regional-national distinction.[3] It can also be seen as an item within an artist's "body of work" or oeuvre. The term is commonly used by: museum and cultural heritage curators, the interested public, the art patron-private art collector community, and art galleries.[4] Physical objects that document immaterial or conceptual art works, but do not conform to artistic conventions can be redefined and reclassified as art objects. Some Dada and Neo-Dada conceptual and readymade works have received later inclusion. Also, some architectural renderings and models of unbuilt projects, such as by Vitruvius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Frank Gehry, are other examples. The products of environmental design, depending on intention and execution, can be "works of art" and include: land art, site-specific art, architecture, gardens, landscape architecture, installation art, rock art, and megalithic monuments. Legal definitions of "work of art" are used in copyright law; see Visual arts § United States of America copyright definition of visual art.


Theories[edit] Marcel Duchamp critiqued the idea that the work of art should be a unique product of an artist's labour, representational of their technical skill or artistic caprice.[citation needed] Theorists have argued that objects and people do not have a constant meaning, but their meanings are fashioned by humans in the context of their culture, as they have the ability to make things mean or signify something.[5] Artist Michael Craig-Martin, creator of An Oak Tree, said of his work – "It's not a symbol. I have changed the physical substance of the glass of water into that of an oak tree. I didn't change its appearance. The actual oak tree is physically present, but in the form of a glass of water."[6]


Distinctions[edit] The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 1917, photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at his 291 after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Some art theorists and writers have long made a distinction between the physical qualities of an art object and its identity-status as an artwork.[7] For example, a painting by Rembrandt has a physical existence as an "oil painting on canvas" that is separate from its identity as a masterpiece "work of art" or the artist's magnum opus.[8] Many works of art are initially denied "museum quality" or artistic merit, and later become accepted and valued in museum and private collections. Works by the Impressionists and non-representational abstract artists are examples. Some, such as the "Readymades" of Marcel Duchamp including his infamous urinal Fountain, are later reproduced as museum quality replicas. There is an indefinite distinction, for current or historical aesthetic items: between "fine art" objects made by "artists"; and folk art, craft-work, or "applied art" objects made by "first, second, or third-world" designers, artisans and craftspeople. Contemporary and archeological indigenous art, industrial design items in limited or mass production, and places created by environmental designers and cultural landscapes, are some examples. The term has been consistently available for debate, reconsideration, and redefinition.


See also[edit] Anti-art Artistic media Cultural artifact Opus number (used in music) Outline of aesthetics The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Western canon


References[edit] ^ John Stothoff Badeau and John Richard Hayes, The Genius of Arab civilization: source of Renaissance. Taylor & Francis. 1983. p. 104 ^ Oeuvre Merriam Webster Dictionary, Accessed April 2011 ^ Gell, Alfred (1998). Art and agency: an Anthropological Theory. Clarendon Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-19-828014-9. Retrieved 2011-03-11.  ^ Macdonald, Sharon (2006). A Companion to Museum Studies. Blackwell companions in cultural studies. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 52. ISBN 1-4051-0839-8. Retrieved 2011-03-11.  ^ Hall, S (ed.) 1997, Cultural Representations and Signifying Practice, Open University Press, London, 1997. ^ "There's No Need to be Afraid of the Present", The Independent, 25 Jun 2001 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2008.  ^ "Rembrandt Research Project - Home". rembrandtresearchproject.org. 


Further reading[edit] Richard Wollheim, Art and Its Objects, 2nd ed., 1980, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-29706-0. The classic philosophical enquiry into what a work of art is.


External links[edit] Look up art student, artwork, objet d'art, or work of art in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Media related to Art at Wikimedia Commons v t e Aesthetics topics Philosophers Abhinavagupta Theodor W. Adorno Leon Battista Alberti Thomas Aquinas Hans Urs von Balthasar Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Clive Bell Bernard Bosanquet Edward Bullough R. G. Collingwood Ananda Coomaraswamy Arthur Danto John Dewey Denis Diderot Hubert Dreyfus Curt John Ducasse Thierry de Duve Roger Fry Nelson Goodman Clement Greenberg Georg Hegel Martin Heidegger David Hume Immanuel Kant Paul Klee Susanne Langer Theodor Lipps György Lukács Jean-François Lyotard Joseph Margolis Jacques Maritain Thomas Munro Friedrich Nietzsche José Ortega y Gasset Dewitt H. Parker Stephen Pepper David Prall Jacques Rancière Ayn Rand George Lansing Raymond I. A. Richards George Santayana Friedrich Schiller Arthur Schopenhauer Roger Scruton Irving Singer Rabindranath Tagore Giorgio Vasari Morris Weitz Johann Joachim Winckelmann Richard Wollheim more... Theories Classicism Evolutionary aesthetics Historicism Modernism New Classical Postmodernism Psychoanalytic theory Romanticism Symbolism more... Concepts Aesthetic emotions Aesthetic interpretation Art manifesto Avant-garde Axiology Beauty Boredom Camp Comedy Creativity Cuteness Disgust Ecstasy Elegance Entertainment Eroticism Gaze Harmony Judgement Kama Kitsch Life imitating art Magnificence Mimesis Perception Quality Rasa Reverence Style Sublime Taste Work of art Related topics Aesthetics of music Applied aesthetics Architecture Art Arts criticism Feminist aesthetics Gastronomy History of painting Humour Japanese aesthetics Literary merit Mathematical beauty Mathematics and architecture Mathematics and art Music theory Neuroesthetics Painting Patterns in nature Philosophy of design Philosophy of film Philosophy of music Poetry Sculpture Theory of painting Theory of art Tragedy Visual arts Index Outline Category Portal Authority control GND: 4123592-7 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Work_of_art&oldid=818000043" Categories: Art mediaArtsConcepts in aestheticsCreativityDesignVisual artsWorks of artHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from March 2014Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers


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