Art Terminology

BIENNIAL

A biennial is a large international art exhibition held every two years. In the art context, biennial (or biennale, as it is sometimes styled) has come to mean a large international exhibition held every two years. The first was the Venice Biennale in 1895, which was situated in the Giardini, a public park, and now …

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BIOMORPHIC

Biomorphic forms or images are ones that while abstract nevertheless refer to, or evoke, living forms such as plants and the human body. Biomorphic comes from combining the Greek words ‘bios’, meaning life, and ‘morphe’, meaning form. The term seems to have come into use around the 1930s to describe the imagery in the more …

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BITUMEN

Bitumen is a naturally-occurring, non-drying, tarry substance used in paint mixtures, especially to enrich the appearance of dark tones. Bitumen became very popular as a paint additive in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth. However, because it does not dry it eventually causes often severe darkening and cracking of the paint. This can be …

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