For many people, artworks have a special significance and meaning. These works of art can be in a variety of forms, such as paintings, sculptures, drawings and other two-dimensional objects. Other types of artworks are installations, videos and ephemeral art like photographs and paintings on paper. While some artists may work in different media, such as painting or drawing, the art world tends to rely on similar artistic concepts and techniques. This can be seen in the way certain styles of artwork, such as cubism or abstract expressionism, have influenced other art movements, such as surrealism and minimalism.
For a long time, it was thought that artworks should reflect the artist’s technical abilities, but several artistic movements such as conceptual art and readymades have dispelled this idea. In addition, the concept of what is considered an artwork has expanded in recent times to include ephemeral works such as video art and performance art. The definition of art is also often contested by philosophers, who use different approaches to define the term.
One common definition of art is that it must have some functional or intended purpose, such as providing a social service or reflecting a specific cultural heritage. However, this definition is criticized for being too broad and failing to distinguish art from other kinds of functional and intended activities. Furthermore, it fails to take into account the possibility that something can be an artwork even if it serves no function at all.
Another definition of art is that it must be created by an artist or artists and produced for the sake of aesthetic enjoyment. This view is usually based on Deweyan principles of aesthetic experience and judgment (see the entry on aesthetics). In this case, the notion of an artwork is closely linked to the concept of art as entertainment.
In addition, the term “artwork” is also used to refer to a collection of artworks, such as a museum or gallery. This is sometimes done in order to highlight a particular art movement or style.
When writing about a piece of art, it is important to focus on the formal elements of the work. This means that you should discuss the various components of the work, such as line, shape and color, in detail. It is best to do this in a coherent and organized manner; jumping from one element to the next can make your writing difficult to read. For example, you should not write about the colors of a painting and then talk about the shape of the piece. Instead, you should first summarize the overall appearance of the painting and then discuss the individual details – for example, what colors are used and why. To help you organize your thoughts, consider using a Venn diagram or chart to help you keep track of the similarities and differences between different elements. For more tips on analyzing art, see our handout on comparing and contrasting.