Chapter 2, Developing Visual Literacy, will introduce you to some of the basic terms of "the language of art." The mass-appeal and effect of media in western culture, from magazines and television to the Internet, has made us visually dependent, but not necessarily visually literate. Learning these terms, concepts, and expressions will assist you as you further develop your "visual literacy."
After reading this chapter you should:
Learning to appreciate works of art beyond their representational forms requires one to accept both the legitimacy and the power of abstract images and language. All artists strive to affect us with their imagessome we admire for their skills, and others for the sensation of feeling or emotion their works generate within us. In The Critical Processtwo works are compared as a means of considering cultural conventions, as well as abstraction vs. naturalism. In some ways, Howling Wolf's drawing combines symbols and images in a language that creates an absolute description of the event in a way that John Taylor's image never could. The language of art enables us to describe what we feel when we view a work of art, both to ourselves and to others with whom we wish to share the experience.