Art in Focus: Confused by Art Terms?
Terms within the art world can be confusing, let’s have a look at a few:
What is a Medium?
Medium refers to either the type of artwork (painting, sculpture, drawing, print) or to the materials used in making of the work (bronze, plaster, charcoal, oils, etching, lithography etc).
An original artwork is an artwork that is simply one of a kind. It can be an oil painting on canvas or board, done in acrylics, watercolours or mixed media. Art comes in many shapes, sizes and media used.
Sculpture is an object in space, viewable from many angles which can be made out of variety of materials. It can be made directly and some is cast from sculptor’s model.
If cast, sculpture too can be one of a kind or come in editions.
In many ways similar to prints, photographs can come in limited or unlimited editions, be signed and is printed on materials that last.
Much as the name suggests, this is any kind of art work fixed to the wall that has sculptural elements to it. Neon art, ceramics, found material, fabrics – these can be either behind glass, perspex or have no covering.
Prints (see more on the next pages) are artist made or artist approved
editions of their work. They can come on paper but also on canvas. They can be limited edition or unlimited, signed or unsigned. All fine art prints are printed on acid free materials that last and come with certificate of authenticity.
A reproduction involves taking an original piece of art and photographing or scanning it, transferring that image to paper. Posters are produced in this manner.
The number of times an image is printed is the edition. If the artist chooses to print just one piece however, as a silkscreen for example or an engraving lifted out of a plate, the original is then one of a kind, often called a monoprint.
Limited or Numbered Editions
Editions may be limited or unlimited in number and may be numbered or unnumbered at the discretion of the artist. While it is often thought that limiting editions makes the print more valuable this is not necessarily true. Many of the most well known photographers (for example Ansel Adams) do not limit their editions and their prints are still extremely valuable.