Writing & Art

writing-art

Writing can be the art itself, or it can accompany the art, assisting in its interpretation and narrative. Utilizing writing in art allows the informed audience to add a deeper layer of meaning to the piece. The Vienna Genesis (below) is an example of writing complementing the art in which the writing coincides with the vignette shown.

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(Via)

However, writing can also act as a barrier of separation, especially in the medieval period where very few knew how to read. Texts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels or Xu Bing’s A Book from Sky were not meant to be read like we think of books today. The text was specifically difficult and often highly stylized to make reading it difficult.

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(Via)

Sometimes writing physically is the only art on the page, such as with the Folio from a Qur’an. In which religious restriction against figural imagery forces calligraphers to find another way of artistic expression.

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(Via)

Additionally, technology has changed the way we integrate art and text. Is printed text art? Is a sentence typed out on a computer art?

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(Via)

Here are some pieces from the AP Art History curriculum that demonstration the convergence of Writing & Art:

Content Area #2: Ancient Mediterranean

  • The Code of Hammurabi
  • Book of the Dead

Content Area #3: Early Europe & Colonial Americas

  • Vienna Genesis
  • Lindisfarne Gospels
  • Pyxis of al-Mughira
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • Bible moralisée
  • Allegory of Law and Grace
  • Frontispiece of the Codex Mendoza

Content Area #4: Later Europe & Americas

  • The Portuguese

Content Area #5: Indigenous Americas

  • Lintel 25, Structure 23, Yaxchilán

Content Area # 7: West & Central Asia

  • Folio from a Qur’an
  • Basin (Baptistère of Saint Louis)

Content Area #8: South, East, and Southeast Asia

  • Travelers among Mountains and Steams
  • Night Attack on the Sanjô Palace

Content Area #10: Global Contemporary

  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Horn Players
  • A Book from the Sky
  • Rebellious Silence, form the Women of Allah series

Read more: Art Through Time: A Global View

JMF

Would you add any others to the list?

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