The three degres of Subject Matter

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The three degres of Subject Matter

There are "Three Degrees of Subject Matter," known as representational, abstract, and nonrepresentational. Every piece of art can be classified into one of these. It might be a good idea when referring to a particular painting to state it's Degree of Subject Matter (Johnson).

Representational or Naturalistic images in art look much like real images in the world (Gilbert 28). It is similar to a photograph (Johnson). Some artists use images refered to as illusionistic, meaning the images are so natural they trick you into believing they are real. When the eye is being fooled into thinking there are 3 dimensions in a work that is flat, it is refered to as trompe-l'oeil (Gilbert 28). At the following website you can view his infamous picture of Olga Picasso, along with many more pieces of Picasso's work, such as Portrait de Dora Maar, which I found to be very unique, also giving a tour of the many masterpieces he created:

This site led me to some outstanding photographs of Representational Art, that could also be interpreted as naturalistic and some of her paintings could be interperted as illusionistic.

Abstract art is when the art has a reference to the natural world but does not try to duplicate it exactly (Gilbert 30). The degree is which it is distorted can range from very slight where you can barely tell it is distorted, to very great where you can barely tell what it is (Johnson). Even if the colors are not true to real life it is abstract (Johnson). Stylized is a term close to abstract. It is stylized if it has features of a natural form that are in some way exaggerated (Gilbert 30). Willem de Kooning often used figural images in his paintings, especially in hi famous "Women" series (Gilbert 483) The following site will demonstrate many of his "women" paintings, along with many of his other works. Koonings paintings are cleary abstract, showing his conscious and unconscious feelings about women (Gilbert 483). Abstract Expressionists sought to express their subconscious through their art.

Nonrepresentational art has no reference to the natural world of images (Gilbert 31). The art work shows no presence of people, places, or things, but shapes and sometimes colors. This type of art goes beyond the known forms and reaches our human emotions and sense's directly (Gilbert 31). They are expressions of the artists who made them (Gilbert 31) Nonrepresentational art, also known as nonobjective art, does not stem from anything real (Johnson).
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