Fine Art Glossary

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ABC art: a 1960's art movement and style that attempts to use a minimal number of textures, colors, shapes and lines to create simple three-dimensional structures. Also known as minimalism.


Abstract: art that looks as if it contains little or no recognizable or realistic forms from the physical world. Focus is on formal elements such as colors, lines, or shapes. Artists often "abstract" objects by changing, simplifying, or exaggerating what they see.

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism: art that rejects true visual representation. It has few recognizable images with great emphasis on line, color, shape, texture, value; putting the expression of the feelings or emotions of the artist above all else.


Accent: to stress, single out as important. As applied to art it is the emphasis given to certain elements in a painting that allows them to attract more attention. Details that define an object or piece of art.


Accession: a process of increasing an art collection by addition; something added to what you already have ("the art collection grew through accession").


Free From errors, Mistakes or distortion

Acid Burn

Brown discoloration on paper, resulting from acidic matting or mounting materials.


Water-based plastic paint consisting of pigments bound in an acrylic resin mixture. Can be thinned with water while wet, but becomes tough and water resistant once dry.

Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint: a fast-drying synthetic paint made from acrylic resin. Acrylic is a fast-drying water-based "plastic" paint valued for its versatility and clean up with soap and water.

Adhesive Failure

 Occurs when the adhesive deteriorates to the point of collapse. Can be found in works on paper (e.g., prints that have been mounted or collaged).

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