Applying Panofsky"s theories of iconographical analysis to graffiti art: Implications for access to images of non-representational/abstract art. by Lisa Gottlieb

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This study examined the applicability of Panofsky"s model of iconographical analysis as a classificatory framework for non-representational/abstract art images using the example of graffiti art. Graffiti art was selected because of its abstract nature and its connection to an iconographic tradition, defined as the presence of, and documented interconnection between, what Panofsky termed primary and secondary subject matter. The study had two phases. First, a faceted classification system for graffiti art styles was developed. The classification system was designed to enable cataloguers to identify the style of a graffiti art piece (secondary subject matter) by distinguishing certain visual characteristics (primary subject matter). This classificatory process mirrors the process of iconographical analysis, where the identification of secondary subject matter depends upon accurate primary subject matter description.Cataloguers had a basic understanding of most of the concepts encompassed by the facet and foci definitions, although their ability to identify particular facet-focus combinations varied among images. Nonetheless, cataloguers" success in identifying different facet-focus combinations shows that Panofsky"s theories as a process model may be applied to the identification of subject matter in graffiti art images. This suggests the potential applicability of this model to other types of non-representational/abstract art that are part of an iconographic tradition.To create the classification system, data about the visual characteristics of graffiti art styles were collected from experts in this field using a series of questionnaires. The data formed the basis of the system"s two main components: (1) definitions for 13 facets and 41 foci that were relevant across examples of graffiti art, and (2) descriptions of 14 different styles of graffiti art. The classification system functioned by linking each style description to specific primary subject matter elements in the facet and foci definitions. In the second phase of the study, image cataloguers with no prior knowledge of graffiti art tested the functionality of the facet and foci definitions. Each cataloguer was asked to select foci for each of the 13 facets in the classification system within the context of 10 images representing unique styles of graffiti art.

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Book details

ContributionsUniversity of Toronto. Faculty of Information Studies.
The Physical Object
Pagination293 leaves.
Number of Pages293
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL21549120M
ISBN 109780494218587

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