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Types of Art Categories, Forms and Classification of Visual Arts and Crafts.
November 14, 2017
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A-Z Types of Art

• Animation Art
Derived from the Latin meaning “to breathe life into”, animation is the visual art of creating a motion picture from a series of still drawings. Among the great twentieth century animators are J. Stuart Blackton, George McManus, Max Fleischer, and Walt Disney.
• Architecture
Best understood as the applied art of building design. Historically has exerted significant influence on the development of fine art, through architectural styles like Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical. For the origins of skyscraper design, see: 19th Century Architecture; for its characteristics and development, see: Skyscraper Architecture (1850-present); for technical details, see: Chicago School of Architecture; for historical context, see: American Architecture (1600-present).
• Art Brut
Painting, drawing, sculpture by artists on the margin of society, or in mental hospitals, or children. (English category is Outsider art.)
• Assemblage Art
A contemporary form of sculpture, comparable to collage, in which a work of art is built up or “assembled” from 3-D materials – typically “found” objects.
• Body Art
One of the oldest (and newest) forms – includes body painting and face painting, as well as tattoos, mime, “living statues” and (most recently) “performances” by artists like Marina Abramovic and Carole Schneemann.
• Calligraphy
This fine art, practised widely in the Far East and among Islamic artists, is regarded by the Chinese as the highest form of art.
• Ceramics
A type of plastic art, ceramics refers to items made from clay and baked in a kiln. See ancient pottery from China and Greece, below. Two of the foremost European ceramicists are the English artist Bernard Howell Leach (1887-1979), and the Frenchman Camille Le Tallec (1908-91).
• Christian Art
This is mostly Biblical Art, or at least works derived from the Bible. It includes Protestant Reformation art and Catholic Counter-Reformation art, as well as Jewish themes. See also: Early Christian sculpture and also: Early Christian Art.
• Collage
Composition consisting of various materials like newspaper cuttings, cardboard, photos, fabrics and the like, pasted to a board or canvas. May be combined with painting or drawings.
• Computer Art
All computer-generated forms of fine or applied art, including computer-controlled types. Also known as Digital, Cybernetic or Internet art.
• Conceptual Art
A contemporary art form that places primacy on the concept or idea behind a work of art, rather than the work itself. Leading conceptual artists include: Allan Kaprow (b.1927), and Joseph Beuys (1921-86) the former Professor of Monumental Sculpture at the Dusseldorf Academy, whose dedication earned him a retrospective at the Samuel R Guggenheim Museum (New York).
• Design (Artistic)
This refers to the plan involved in creating something according to a set of aesthetics. Examples of artistic design movements include: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Ulm Design School and Postmodernism.
• Drawing
A drawing can be a complete work, or a type of preparatory sketching for a painting or sculpture. A central issue in fine art concerns the relative importance of drawing (line) versus colour.
– chalk
– charcoal
– conte crayon
– pastel
– pen and ink
– pencil
For a selection of the greatest sketches by some of the finest draftsmen in history, please see: Best Drawings of the Renaissance (1400-1550).
• Folk Art
Mostly crafts and utilitarian applied arts made by rural artisans.
• French Furniture
The greatest furniture was created during the 17th/18th centuries by French Designers at the Royal Court, in the Louis Quatorze, Quinze and Seize styles. For a short guide, see: French Decorative Arts (1640-1792).
• Graffiti Art
Contemporary form of street aerosol spray painting which emerged in East Coast American cities during the late 1960s/early 1970s. Famous graffiti artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88), Keith Haring (1958-90) and Banksy.
• Graphic Art
Types of visual expression defined more by line and tone (disegno), rather than colour (colorito). Includes drawing, cartoons, caricature art, comic strips, illustration, animation and calligraphy, as well as all forms of traditional printmaking. Also includes postmodernist styles of word art (text-based graphics).
• Icons (Icon Painting)
Ranks alongside mosaic art as the most popular type of Eastern Orthodox religious art. Closely associated with Byzantine art, and later, Russian icon painters.
• Illuminated Manuscripts
This principally refers to religious texts (Christian, Islamic, Jewish) embellished with figurative illustrations and/or abstract geometric designs, exemplified by Book of Kells.
• Installation
A new category of contemporary art, which employs various 2-D and 3-D materials to create a particular space designed to make an impact on the viewer/visitor. Turner Prize Winner Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin are famous installation artists.
• Illustration
A form of painting, drawing or other graphic art which explains, clarif

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