Glossary

composition the arrangement of parts that together form a unified whole
context the parts of the environment (physical, environment, historical, etc.) that surround something such as a word, passage, or work of art and can throw light on its meaning
depict to represent in a picture
facade the face of a building
juxtapose
to place side by side
historical context Historical context reflects the time in which something takes place or was created and how that influences how you interpret it. In other words, it is the events that took place around something through which you understand that thing.

Historial context can be found by answering the following questions...
  • When do you think the billboard was made?
  • What was going on at the time?

    ex. Think of something in your life that you once treasured (such as a toy, clothes, a game, etc.) but now you've gotten rid of. Think about how when you were younger it was SO important to you. Now think about that thing in your life today. It doesn't seem so important now, because you are in a new time, a new historical context with different values and priorities than when you first got that treasure. Similarly, art that was once interpereted in one way later in time can be interpreted differently.
impression an effect, feeling, or image retained after an experience
media forms of expression determined by materials or creative methods
physical context The physical context reflects the space around something and how that influences how you see it.

ex. Think about how a photograph of a woman's face looks different when it appears framed in an art gallery and when it appears in your friend's photoalbum.

Physical context can be found by answering the following questions...
  • Where is it?
  • What does it have to do with the place in which it can be found?
  • What is the piece and the community in which it is found
political context Politcal context reflects the environment in which something is produced indicating it's purpose or agenda

Political context can be found by answering the following questions...
  • What is the agenda of the creator?
  • Why was it made?
  • Does it help people?
  • Does it promote ideas?

    ex. Often political messages are intented to persuade one way or another. Knowing who created the message and what their relationship is to others reflects how you interpret that message.
Sandinista a Nicaraguan guerrilla group that overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979; named for CÈsar Augusto Sandino, a hero of Nicaraguan resistance to U.S. military occupation (1927-33)
social context The environment of people that surrounds something's creation or intended audience
Social context reflects how the people around something use and interpret it. The social context influences how something is viewed.

ex. Think about how you see different things in different social contexts. For example, when you see a movie at the theater with your friends, how does it seem different than when you watch a movie your teacher created for you in class with students? One may seem more like entertainment and the other may to ask you to domore thinking. Depending on where you see each one, you will experience them differently.

To find the social context answer the questions
  • Who created it?
  • Who was the audience?
subject
the main theme of a work of art