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Author Steiner, Rochelle Elayne
Title Framing words: Visual language in contemporary art
book jacket
Descript 190 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 58-01, Section: A, page: 0005
Supervisor: Mieke Bal
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Rochester, 1996
Throughout the history of representation two distinct artistic categories have been constructed: one visual, based on images; the other verbal or literary, based on words. There have, of course, been points of intersection: visual art that includes letters, wards, phrases, written texts, audio recordings and/or linguistic structures with, as, and/or instead of images, such as Cubist collages and Conceptual art; and literary practices that feature images, illustrations, visual imagery, non-traditional typestyles and/or graphic layouts, such as illuminated manuscripts and concrete poetry. However, these combinations of words and images are typically considered "border crossings", exceptions to traditional visual and literary forms, and challenges to the boundaries between them
The separation of words from images is based on the modernist assumption that each of the arts occupies a specific area of competence. However, recent developments in visual art have overturned such purity: words and/or language frequently function as images, media and/or subject matter in an array of artistic formats. In this study I examine the conventional separation of words from images within visual art practices, demonstrating that it has led to the classification of linguistic components in art as intrusions, and has resulted in the isolation of "hybrid" practices within their own distinct category
While examples of art forms at the intersection of the visual and verbal fields are infinite, in this study I examine work by five contemporary artists--Edward Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Lawrence Weiner--in which words and language function visually. Though their work varies greatly, these artists present verbal components such that their art requires both reading and looking, and results in new ways of seeing and interpreting. By reframing their practices as investigations into visual and verbal signification, rather than as "exceptions" or moments of hybridity within well-established modernist borders, I consider the nature of visual language, and move toward a theory for interpreting how it is deployed in art
School code: 0188
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 58-01A
Subject Art History
Alt Author University of Rochester
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