ArtsAlive.ca – Persuading Presence

Glossary of Terms

image:This poster jolts us with an abstracted image of two men being devoured by bright orange flames also abstracted into a nightmarish Tangram puzzle. View the poster.
Abstract

This poster jolts us with an abstracted image of two men being devoured by bright orange flames also abstracted into a nightmarish Tangram puzzle. View the poster.
image:Nolin Larosée designed a “family look” for French Theatre’s 1992/93 season with a hugely inventive series of collage illustrations. The images have a strong surrealist flavour. View the poster.
Collage

Nolin Larosée designed a “family look” for French Theatre’s 1992/93 season with a hugely inventive series of collage illustrations. The images have a strong surrealist flavour. View the poster.
image:This “diptych” layout suggests Lepage’s deconstructionist approach to the project. View the poster.
Diptych

This “diptych” layout suggests Lepage’s deconstructionist approach to the project. View the poster.
image:The image in this poster is beautifully reproduced in subtle duotone colors. View the poster.
Duotone

The image in this poster is beautifully reproduced in subtle duotone colors. View the poster.
image:The poster juxtaposes scale and point of view, with a wolf howling at the sky, and a photo of the earth from outer space to challenge our perceptions of the natural environment. View the poster
Juxtapose

The poster juxtaposes scale and point of view, with a wolf howling at the sky, and a photo of the earth from outer space to challenge our perceptions of the natural environment. View the poster
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Abstract/abstraction -
tending away from the realistic or literal
Adaptation -
the act of fitting one thing to another (e.g., adapting a novel to the medium of film); altering an original work to create a variation
Allusion -
making indirect reference or suggestion
Anachronistic -
something out of its proper time; e.g., a Greek statue wearing a wrist watch
Apparition -
a visual appearance of a spirit (ghost, phantom, spectre)
Archive -
a collection of historical documents or records; the place where these are stored
Archivist -
a person who maintains and is in charge of an archive
Asymmetrical -
not balanced, lacking harmonious proportion
Bindery -
a place where books are bound
Brand identity -
the “face” a company presents to the world via logo, consistent use of colour, type-face, trade mark, letterhead, that which allows customers to recognize a product and become loyal to it
Caricature -
a picture or description in which features are distorted to produce an absurd effect
Collage -
A form of art consisting of materials (like cloth, newspaper, photographs, etc.) pasted on a backing; also, the technique of making the composition
Concept -
An abstract idea, mental image or symbol; in a performance production, the “concept” is used as the starting point and reference for realizing the end result
Contemporary -
Living or occurring at the same time
Crop -
to cut, trim
Deconstruction -
Analysis of a text in order to show that there is no fixed meaning within the text but that meaning is created each time in the act of reading
Deconstructivist -
a general trend in contemporary architecture, developed in the late stages of the 20th century out of post-modern architecture, characterized by fragmentation, non-rectilinear shapes, an interest in the “skin” or surface of a building, and lack of predictability in terms of finished appearance
Demographic(s) -
referring to the statistical analysis of population, showing size, distribution, income, education, etc. The singular use usually refers to the identification of a specific group of people; e.g., “our demographic tends to be those between 20 – 35 years old”
Depression -
a severe decline in business, followed by an increase in unemployment, falling prices, etc; also the period during which this takes place; e.g., the Great Depression
Designer -
the person usually responsible for creating models, drawings, patterns or compositions to be realized by and for the use of someone else; in theatre: set, lights, costume, props designer; in the advertising world, one who creates the “look” of a poster, ad, pamphlet, book cover, etc.
Diptych -
a double picture or carving, often depicting a religious subject
Director -
in theatre, the artist who works oversees the development of the production from text in script form to performance on the stage
Distortion -
the act of twisting or bending out of shape
Duotone -
an illustration in two tones of the same colour
Dynamic -
forceful and energetic; always changing and progressing
Engrave -
to cut words or designs on a hard surface
Ephemeral -
lasting or of use only for a short time
Exposure -
in photography, exposure refers to the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph
Fine art -
usually refers to arts that exist purely for their own sake, as opposed to crafts or the areas of design whose end is commercial or informational; the fine arts historically include painting, printmaking, theatre, opera, music, sculpture, architecture and photography
Graphic arts -
historically, the art of printmaking and drawing; in contemporary usage, the trade skills of graphic designer or print technician; can include trades of lithography, serigraphy and bindery (see individual listings for definitions)
Graphic design -
visual communication of information via images and text, accessibility and aesthetics being prime considerations
Graphic designer -
professional who creates the design, usually for informational and advertising purposes
Graphic layout -
arrangement and style of design elements on a page
Iconic -
a person, idea, institution, or anything that has attained the state of sacredness or venerability; the word derives from icon – small venerated painting of Christ and the Virgin Mary; a small and often potent symbol of something larger and more general; e.g., the Canadian flag’s red maple leaf conjures up Canada, national pride, or a mental image of this country
Image -
a representation or likeness of a real or imagined person, creature or object; a rhetorical or literary devise that evokes a mental picture
Invert -
to turn upside down, to turn completely over, to reverse the order of
Juxtapose -
to place close together, put side by side; often used to heighten the element of contrast
Libretto -
verbal text of an opera or large-scale vocal work, the book containing the text
Lithography -
art or process of producing printed matter from a stone or metal plate on which a drawing or design has been made in greasy or water repellent material
Metaphor -
a figure of speech in which one thing is compared to another by speaking of it as though it were the other; e.g., “my mother was a lioness protecting her young”
Minimal(ism) -
in visual arts, referring to the movement in post WWII art wherein works of art are spare, stripped down to their most fundamental features; in music, look for the repetition of notes and phrases
Negative -
any object or impression that is the inverse of another, as a mold made from a sculpture, or the space surrounding the object in graphic art. See definition for positive.
Offset lithography -
a method of printing in which the inked impression from a lithographic plate is transferred to a rubber-coated cylinder and then onto paper
Optical illusion -
visually perceived images which are deceptive or misleading; the art technique of “trompe-l’œil”
Perception -
insight or knowledge resulting from understanding; the process of becoming aware of something through the senses
Perspective -
point of view; (in visual art) the art or theory or representing solid objects on a flat surface so as to convey the impression of depth or distance
Phantasm -
an imaginary appearance; a phantom
Playwright -
a writer of plays for the theatre
Photomontage -
process of using fragments or parts of photographs to create a new picture; also the result of using the process; e.g., the creation of a photomontage to share your vacation images
Pose -
(in art) the position of the body, especially such a position assumed for or represented by an artist or photographer
Positive -
(in graphic art) the shape of an image on a flat surface or in sculpture, the shape itself. See definition for negative.
Printing-process -
the process used to put type and/or image on a flat surface; e.g., lithography, silk screen
Realism -
in art and literature, the treatment of subject matter as it is in life, rather than idealizing it
Satire -
sarcasm, irony, wit ridiculing vice, folly, social and political excesses
Season poster -
the poster an arts organization creates to advertise the entire season as opposed to one performance
Sepia -
reddish brown pigment, often the colour associated with early photography
Serigraphy -
an adaptation of the silkscreen process in which handmade prints are made on the desired surface by the use of stencils; one stencil is used per colour
Silhouette -
figure cast by a shadow, a portrait or profile drawing having its outline filled in by solid colour (often black)
Silkscreen -
a stencil process that forces ink through the open meshes of a silk or silk-like screen on which the desired pattern has been imposed, with those parts not to be printed stopped by an impermeable coating
Somber -
murky, gloomy, partially deprived of light, melancholy
Stencil -
a sheet of paper, plastic, etc., in which a pattern is cut, allowing ink or paint to penetrate to the surface below
Style -
a distinctive or characteristic form of expression, the manner in which some action or work is performed, written, or expressed
Splice -
to unite or connect, often at the ends; often used for wires, ropes, pieces of film
Supernatural -
phenomena lying outside the natural order; e.g., ghosts
Surreal(ism) -
pertaining to a movement in 20th Century art attempting to represent the workings of the subconscious mind, especially as manifested in dreams; characterized by incongruous arrangements and juxtapositions of objects not normally associated; Salvador Dali made use of Surrealism in his art
Symbolism -
representation by symbols (something chosen to stand for or represent something else)
Synthesis -
assembling of separate parts into a whole
Tangram -
a Chinese puzzle consisting of a square card or board cut into five triangles, a square and a lozenge to be combined into a variety of figures
Text -
The body of matter on a written or printed page; data in textual form; the actual words of an author
Theatrical -
having to do with the theatre or dramatic performance; designed for show or effect
Three-dimensional (3-D) -
having width, length and depth
Tone -
in emotions, the mood; in art the prevailing effect of a picture, produced by effects of light and shadow, and quality or intensity of colour
Two-dimensional (2-D) -
having width and length
Type -
printed, type-written, digitally produced characters
Type block -
in printing, a metal or wooden block with a letter or character (usually in relief) used for printing
Typography -
the arrangement of composed type, the style and appearance of printed matter
Vintage -
the type or kind current at a particular time in the past (e.g., vintage clothing); characterized by lasting interest or importance characterized by high quality (e.g., vintage wine)
Visual metaphor -
visual accounting or description of something that is imaginatively but not necessarily literally accurate; for example, a poster for a (hypothetical) theatre performance entitled LOVE might show a man balancing on one foot on a chair which is balancing on its back legs, which in turn is balancing on a globe; the many possible associations (danger, risk, excitement, delicate balance, travel, multiculturalism or the environment ) give the image metaphoric or symbolic value