Art Terminology

PENDANT

A pendant picture is one of two pictures designed to hang together as a matching pair. Pendant means hanging, and the term seems to originate in the idea of one hanging from the other – i.e. attached to the other. In practice pendant pairs of pictures were usually displayed on either side of a fireplace, …

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PENWITH SOCIETY OF ARTS

Penwith Society of Arts is an artists’ society formed in 1948 at St Ives, Cornwall, Britain by artists working in an abstract style. Penwith Society of Arts is part of the history of the development of modern and abstract art within the artists’ colony of St Ives. It was formed by abstract artists breaking away …

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PERFORMANCE ART

Artworks that are created through actions performed by the artist or other participants, which may be live or recorded, spontaneous or scripted. While the terms ‘performance’ and ‘performance art’ only became widely used in the 1970s, the history of performance in the visual arts is often traced back to futurist productions and dada cabarets of …

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PERFORMATIVITY

The term performativity describes the interdependent relationship between certain words and actions – as when a word or sentence implies an action. The term was first introduced by the theorist J. L. Austin in his 1955 book How to Do Things with Words. Austin used the word performative to describe a sentence that was also …

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PERSPECTIVE

The term perspective refers to the representation of objects in three-dimensional space (i.e. for representing the visible world) on the two-dimensional surface of a picture. Basic, or linear perspective rests on the fact that although parallel lines never meet, they appear to do so as they get further away from the viewer towards the horizon, …

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PESTS

PESTS was an anonymous protest and pressure group of artists operating in New York in the 1980s who aimed to expose the discrimination, exclusion and tokenism directed towards artists from racial minorities by commercial galleries and public museums. Much of the art produced by PESTS was in the form of ephemera, flyers, posters and brochures …

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