Art Principles and History

Finding Meaning in Art

What is art theory?

Theories of art, or critical theories, help us understand the meaning of art and culture from a philosophical perspective. Many artists use art to communicate philosophic opinions and ideas about art and culture through their work, while scholars and art historians use theory to put art and artists into cultural context. Theorists are interested in looking beyond the superficial qualities of art and digging deep into questions of meaning and significance. Some (but definitely not all) important lines of theoretical questioning come from fields such as psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism and gender studies, postcolonialism, and postmodernism.


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