Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Janusian Gallery's A-Z Guide to Basic Art Terms

There are thousands of terms and phrases related to art and art collecting, but this handy A-Z guide will get you started on talking knowledgeably with galleries:

header art for Janusian Gallery's A-Z Guide to Basic Art Terms

ABSTRACT: Artwork which departs to some degree from an accurate (realistic/naturalistic) representation of the subject.


BALANCE: The manner in which the elements of an artwork are arranged to achieve a feeling of stability.


COLOR: A aspect of art that is caused by the quality of light reflected or emitted by an object. Color has three key elements: hue, intensity, and value.


DECORATION: Ornamentation; adornment; embellishment.


EXPRESSIONISM: An art movement where an artist distorts or exaggerates his or her subject to present it from a subjective perspective.


FORM: The whole of an artwork's visible elements and the way those elements are unified.


GALLERIES: Places you go to see a nicely-curated collection of art and have the opportunity to purchase your favorites. A gallery may be a bricks-and-mortar building, an online presence, or both.


Visit our Curioos online gallery at


HISTORY: Educating yourself and understanding the background of the art you're viewing can help you appreciate it on a deeper level. Also makes you make better-informed acquisition decisions.


IMPRESSIONISM: An art movement where the artist seeks to reproduce the impression suggested by his subject as if gazed upon it for the first time.


JANUSIAN: Artwork created when the artist fills his brain with paradoxes, considers the myriad of possibilities, and reaches a creative solution. Inspired by the work of Dr. Albert Rothenberg in the late 1970s when he realized that many of the world's most creative people share an attribute of the two-faced Roman deity Janus (god of entranceways, beginnings and endings): they are able to hold contrary perceptions and concepts in their minds at the same time.


Artwork of the Roman God Janus

Classical illustration of the Roman God Janus, after which Janusian Gallery was named.


KARMA:The cosmic consequences of one's actions. You acquire lots of good karma by supporting artists and buying art.


LINE: A thin continuous mark made by a pencil, pen, or brush on a surface.


MUSEUM: Place to go to see art you can admire, but can't buy, afford, or take with you.


NEW: Recently-created art; art that is a departure from that which preceded it.


OBSCENE: Art which is offensive to the generally-accepted standards of decency and modesty. Art which the Supreme Court can't fully define, but can recognize when it sees it.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Increasingly being accepted and purchased as art, not craft.


Photography by Janusian Gallery artists is available in a number of our online stores. (See links at right).


QUALITY: Art having a high degree of excellence as determined by those who are educated and knowledgeably about art. Somewhat correlated to price, but not always (especially for emerging artists.)


REPLICA: A copy or facsimile, as opposed to an original. Should be priced accordingly. Learn to tell the difference between a good copy (such as a high-quality print) and an original.


SUBJECT (MATTER): The person, place, thing, or idea upon which a particular piece of art is based.


TALENT: An inherited and//or developed facility to consistently create artwork of high quality.


URBAN: Art relating to the city and city life. Includes street art, graffiti, and "yarn bombings."


VIEWER: One who looks/ gazes upon art. Audience.


WOMEN: Gender which studies, teaches, makes, buys, sells, and loves art. Woefully underrepresented in some galleries , museums, and/ or private and public collections.


XENOPHILE: Love of the unfamiliar. Makes an adventurous and open-minded art connoisseur and collector.


YOU: The art patron, maker, student, gallery owner, viewer, etc.


ZEITGEIST: "The spirit of the time"; influences style, taste, and culture


- Lynne Sabean


Janusian Gallery is dedicated to changing the way that people buy, create, and think about art. Visit us online at and/or download a free copy of the Janusian Manifesto here.

Like this post? Sign up for our e-newsletter.

No comments:

Post a Comment