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A visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination. The term art encompasses diverse media such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, decorative arts, photography, and installation. The various visual arts exist within a continuum that ranges from purely aesthetic purposes at one end to purely utilitarian purposes at the other. This should by no means be taken as a rigid scheme, however, particularly in cultures in which everyday objects are painstakingly constructed and imbued with meaning. Particularly in the 20th century, debates arose over the definition of art. Figures such as Dada artist Marcel Duchamp implied that it is enough for an artist to deem something art and put it in a publicly accepted venue. Such intellectual experimentation continued throughout the 20th century in movements such as conceptual art and Minimalism. By the turn of the 21st century, a variety of new media (e.g., video art) further challenged traditional definitions of art. Seeaesthetics; art conservation and restoration; drawing; painting; printmaking; sculpture; photography; decorative arts.
Variants of ART
art also called visual art
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on art, visit Britannica.com.