What is Visual Arts?

Visual arts called the set of artistic manifestations of a visual nature, among which are those of traditional plastic disciplines, the new forms of expression that appeared during the second half of the 20th century and the most recent artistic manifestations, the product of new technologies. and the new media.

Among the traditional plastic disciplines are, for example, painting, drawing, engraving and sculpture.

Also, among the new forms of expression that appeared during the second half of the 20th century, we can name photography, video art, artistic action or performance, interventions and graffiti.

Framed within the new creations of contemporary visual arts we can mention those grouped into digital art.

The aspect that all expressions of visual arts have in common is that they are captured through vision, so that they share a series of aesthetic characteristics, elements and principles.

Within the criteria we can find harmony, color, composition, space, balance, light, movement, perspective, rhythm and texture, defined in what are called aesthetic values. It is from these codes or visual languages ​​that the artist seeks to convey to the viewer a certain aesthetic experience.

Characteristics of the visual arts

Currently, it is argued that the visual arts respond to a number of basic characteristics. Among them we find the appropriation, where the artist takes elements or styles, typical of other currents, movements and even times, and incorporates them into his compositions in a novel way.

On the other hand, the visual artist is characterized by being inter- and multidisciplinary, so it tends to move between different disciplines for its aesthetic purposes, involving a horizon of research and experimentation and incorporating different supports, materials and techniques.

Another characteristic of the visual arts is that it draws significantly from the phenomenon of globalization, which facilitates the circulation and access to artistic proposals that are developed in all parts of the planet, promoting a dynamic of aesthetic feedback and cultural plurality. , but also a kind of standardization in the artistic phenomenon.

Finally, the exhibition strategies are also, within the visual arts, a motive of aesthetic exploration, to enhance the nature of the works. In this sense, noteworthy cases are the appropriation of public spaces or the use of the Internet to make the presentation of the sample, as well as the variation of the periods of the exhibition, which can range from hours to weeks.

Classification of visual arts

The denomination “visual arts” only arises from the Second World War, with the avant-garde currents of the twentieth century that intertwine traditional disciplines of the fine arts.

Fine arts

Cutting with kitchen knife through the beer belly of the Weimar Republic, Hannah Höch, 1919

Within the denomination of the 7 fine arts, the visual arts merge elements from: painting, sculpture, dance, architecture and cinema, incorporating new elements hitherto unrelated to the aesthetic visual experience.

Artistic currents

The fountain, Marcel Duchamp, 1917

In this sense, we can include within the visual arts the works of art that are framed within what are called artistic trends, especially those that arise with avant-garde as they are, for example, Dadaism, Cubism, art Pop, abstract art, among others.

Contemporary arts

In recent times, the use of new technologies and emerging media, to explore aesthetic potentialities, have created new manifestations belonging to the visual arts where we can find, for example:

digital photography, digital photomontage, interactive art, ephemeral art, digital art, artistic action or performance , video art, installations, interventions, land art, environmental art, postal art, urban art , public art, kinetic art.

The artistic expressions mentioned above belong to what we call contemporary art.

History of the visual arts

It is agreed to indicate the end of the Second World War as a starting point for visual arts as we know them today: a mode of artistic expression that appeals to expressive and formal freedom, and that is based on the foregoing avant-garde proposals, in which had a decisive impact on Marcel Duchamp’s work.

The art that will be developed from this period is characterized by the interaction and evolution between different disciplines, as well as the use of its various resources and languages. This dynamic resulted in a wide multiplicity of aesthetic products.

Visual arts and performing arts

The performing arts share characteristics visual arts and elements with the visual arts, for example, artistic action or performance , happenings, Fluxus, interactive art and ephemeral art, among many more.