Making Sense of Art: The Relationship between Art Criticism and Visual Perception Theories

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Many people experience bewilderment when exposed to the range of opinions on offer from a wide range of sources about the meanings of art works. Often these opinions are in conflict with one another, and this can lead to much confusion!
The paper recommends an examination of the theory of visual perception from which basis any particular art criticism stems, because in fact it is impossible to argue for any well-developed, coherent theory of art criticism without acknowledging its corresponding theory of perception. Three groups of visual perception theory are identified, related to corresponding positions of art criticism, and discussed in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.


Keywords: Art Criticism, Visual Perception Theories
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Making Sense of Art


Prof. Howard Riley

Head of School of Research, Dynevor Centre for the Arts, Swansea Metropolitan University
Swansea, Wales, UK

Howard Riley trained at Hammersmith College of Art, Coventry College of Art, and the Royal College of Art. He has taught drawing and the history and theory of art in Australia and Malaysia, as well as the UK. He has published widely in the areas of art pedagogy and visual semiotics, and his drawings have been exhibited in Australia, Finland and the UK, most recently in the Wales Drawing Biennale, 2007, and in 'Nascent Opus', at The Elysium Gallery, Swansea, 2008.

Ref: A09P0137