Our world has become a very visual one – we have art all around us. Understanding art is understanding our world! A good first step is to try to understand what we mean by art. The arts include visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts, like music, theatre, and film, among others.
The types of visual art include architecture, animation, collage, comics, design, drawing, graffiti, illustration, installation art, photography, sculpture and so on.
The first time that the question of what art is came up in the 19th century in an essay by Leo Tolstoy. In his work he argues against numerous theories which define art in terms of the good, truth, and especially beauty. In Tolstoy’s opinion, art at the time was much more than that. According to him, art must create an emotional link between artist and audience, one that “infects” the viewer.
But of course there are people who view the art as a commercial idea. As Frank Zappa once said, “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”
For someone art can be therapy. There is even a term “art therapy”. The aim of art therapy is to improve or maintain mental health and emotional well-being.
In my opinion art plays a large part in making our lives infinitely rich. Art stimulates different parts of our brains to make us laugh or cry, calm down or start shouting. You could say “Art is something that makes us more thoughtful and well-balanced humans.”
The most frequent association with the word art is painting. Painting has had a long and glorious world history as an independent art. From Giotto to Picasso, painting has never ceased to produce great exponents who have expressed not merely the taste but the aspirations, the concepts of space, form, and color, and the philosophy of their respective periods.
Belarusian artists have made an enormous contribution to the development of world culture. In the 12-18th centuries the most popular genres of fine arts in Belarus were frescos, icon and portrait painting. The 16th century portraits created in Belarus were influenced by the Italian and German Renaissance. Ivan Chrutsky (1810-1885) is considered to be the greatest figure in Belarusien art of the 19th century. His sentimental portraits and luminous (ńâĺň˙ůčĺń˙) still-life paintings had been assiduously (óńĺđäíî) collected by Russian and Polish art galleries.
An important role in the formation of young artists in Belarus was played by the opening of art schools in Vitebsk (1898) and Minsk (1906).
Among the various genres of Belarusian fine arts water-colour painting is of undoubting importance and interest. Here we should mention V. Tsvirko, one of the leading Belarusian artists. His water-colours Willows Have Burst into Blossom, The Melted Snow and April are superb.
The most famous Belarusian artists who painted in oils are M. Savitski, E. Zaitsev and I. Akhremchik. The war theme predominates in their pictures, though, of course, they also painted landscapes and portraits. The series Figures on the Heart by M. Savitski has become a specific phenomenon in Belarusian art.
At the beginning of the 20th century a new trend of abstract painting developed in Vitebsk. Among the artists who belonged to that trend were the world famous M. Chagal, K. Malevich, G. Pen and others. Some of them had to leave Belarus and live abroad.
Here I would like to insert some words about abstract art. Understanding abstract art does not come naturally for everyone but it can’t leave people indifferent. To understand abstract art you have to open up your intuition and see where the painting takes you. Abstract art allows the viewer to decide what the artwork is about, on a very personal level. It requires an open mind and a big imagination. What people don’t realize is that the best abstract artists have excellent drawing skills, a fine sense of composition, and a deep understanding of the workings of color. Instead they choose to express their emotions by creating a piece that is more free, free of the weight of objects. If you want to fully understand an artwork, it’s important to know the artist’s intention behind it. Knowing the artist’s thought process for creating a certain work of art adds to the meaning and value of a painting.
Pablo Picasso once said: “Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird?” Picasso has a point. Art can’t be explained in words, because its influence on people is very personal.
Art echoes the natural world. Art is a means of communion as well as communication. Art creates awareness of social issues. Art may express and reflect the religious, political, and economical aspects of cultures. Art is and can be what ever a culture says it is or what ever they want it to be. Art also helps us to express our sentimental relations. It can beautify, surprise, inspire, stimulate imagination, inform, tell stories, and record history. As someone once said, “Art is life.”
Our world has become a very visual one – we have art all around us. Understanding art is understanding our world! A good first step is to try to understand what we mean by art. The arts are a great subdivision of culture. It is a broader term than art, which usually means only the visual arts. The arts include visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts, like music, theatre, and film. If you ask people in the street what art is, paintings and statues are common answers. But actually it’s more than that. The types of visual art include architecture, animation, collage, comics, design, drawing, graffiti, illustration, installation art, photography, painting and sculpture. In Leo Tolstoy’s opinion, art at the time was much more than the good, truth, and beauty. According to him, art must create an emotional link between artist and audience, one that “infects” the viewer. Some researchers believe that art is actually about communicating the feelings of the artists.
Art plays a large part in making our lives infinitely rich. Art makes us laugh or cry, calm down or start shouting. It is something that makes us more thoughtful and well-balanced humans.
Art is form and content. Form means the elements of art, the principles of design and the actual, physical materials that the artist has used. Content is idea-based and means what the artist meant to say, what the artist actually did say and how we react, as individuals, to the author’s messages.
The world of art is really fascinating. It is the world of fine artists and sculptors, art historians and critic curators, designers and photographers.
We can enjoy masterpieces of both old and modern art in such world famous museums as the Louvre (Paris), the British Museum and the National Gallery (London), the State Hermitage (St. Petersburgh), the Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Prado Museum (Madrid) and many others.
A lot of young people enjoy graffiti – the so called street art, though some older people consider it to be illegal and ugly. I think we have to accept it as part of our lives. A lot of companies use graffiti imagery to promote their things.
As for me, not long ago I got interested in modern art (abstract art). I got enchanted by the flying shapes and colourful patterns of the works by Mark Chagal, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, Kazimir Malevich. Understanding abstract art is easy: all it requires is an open mind and a big imagination. You have to open up your intuition to see where the painting takes you. Abstract art allows the viewer to decide what the artwork is about, on a very personal level. Abstract art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful thing