How Does Art 'Speak,' and What Does it 'Say?' Conceptual Metaphor Theory as a Tool for Understanding the Artistic Process

THOUGHT TOOLS FOR A NEW GENERATION: ESSAYS ON THOUGHT, IDEAS, AND THE POWER OF EXPRESSION, pp. 81-89, Robert D. Clark Honors College, 2006

11 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2010

Date Written: January 20, 2006

Abstract

It would be difficult to talk about art without using metaphors like “self-expression,” “describing a subject,” or “making a statement.” Phrases like these let us understand art metaphorically in terms of linguistic communication, because we normally express, describe and state our ideas using language. We usually understand these metaphoric phrases automatically and without conscious effort. However, in the past few decades, the growing field of conceptual metaphor theory (cf. Lakoff and Johnson 1980) has made it possible to systematically examine the structure of these and other metaphors, along with their uses in cognition and communication.

Keywords: Conceptual Metaphor, Visual Art, Abstraction, Representation, Genre

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Karen, How Does Art 'Speak,' and What Does it 'Say?' Conceptual Metaphor Theory as a Tool for Understanding the Artistic Process (January 20, 2006). THOUGHT TOOLS FOR A NEW GENERATION: ESSAYS ON THOUGHT, IDEAS, AND THE POWER OF EXPRESSION, pp. 81-89, Robert D. Clark Honors College, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1552575

Karen Sullivan (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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