Title

Contextual Information, Artistic Style and the Perception of Art

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Publication Source

Empirical Studies of the Arts

Volume

28

Issue

1

Inclusive pages

111-130

DOI

10.2190/EM.28.1.g

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to determine if providing contextual information about various artistic styles would increase liking and lead to more positive perceptions of examples of art. Participants were 172 male and female artistically naive undergraduate students. Participants evaluated four artworks from one of four styles (Dada, Outsider, Impressionism, and Renaissance) on several rating scales. Results showed that when no contextual information was presented perceived match between an artwork and an internal concept of art was higher than if contextual information was presented and that Dada art received the lowest match scores followed by Outsider, Impressionist, and Renaissance art. Dada art was liked significantly less than Outsider, Impressionist, or Renaissance art. Factor analysis of bipolar semantic differential scales revealed four dimensions underlying perception of art and that different styles could be separated based on these dimensions.

Disciplines

Psychology

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