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Chevron  

John Thomas

Form of three-dimensional zigzag ornament particularly associated with Anglo-Norman Romanesque architecture, where it was used to decorate arches, doorways and windows. An equivalent term is dancette (or dancetty), although this is generally reserved for the zigzags used in heraldry. The stripes and flashes set on to the sleeves of military uniform tunics are also chevrons. Architectural chevron is possibly related to Byzantine brick saw-tooth ornament, transmitted indirectly through the decoration of, for example, canon tables in Carolingian and Ottonian illuminated manuscripts (e.g. the Gospel Book of Bernward of Hildesheim; c. 1000; Hildesheim, Diözmus. & Domschatzkam., MS. 18). The saw-tooth motif appears in Romanesque wall painting until the late 12th century (e.g. Terrassa, Spain, S Maria; c. 1175–1200). Chevron is not common in Western buildings before ad 1000, but it is found in Islamic architecture as early as the 8th century at Qusayr ‛Amra, and although it remains unclear precisely how chevron became so closely associated with Anglo-Norman architecture, Borg has suggested that both manuscript illuminations and knowledge of Islamic buildings brought by returning crusaders after ...

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[Fr.: ‘wing’]

Element at the side of an image, especially in panoramic landscapes, which directs the spectator’s eye towards the central view in the distance. The term derives from those pieces of stage scenery that mask the wings of the theatre and create an illusion of recession (see also Repoussoir).

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Term used in an art-historical context to describe art forms that include a variety of media, often unconventional. It is used mainly where a complete description of media would be too lengthy. Multimedia may also comprise live or Performance art, Happenings, Environmental art, Video art and Installation. The origins of multimedia may be traced to Dada, especially the activity in 1916 in Zurich of the Cabaret Voltaire. The concept was developed further by artists associated with Surrealism, for example at the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme (1938) at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Paris: works were exhibited in a series of ‘environments’, such as the display of Salvador Dalí’s Rainy Taxi, which was positioned under a localized rainstorm and contained a female dummy and live, crawling snails; in another room Marcel Duchamp hung 1200 coal-sacks from the ceiling, covered the floor with dead leaves and moss and installed a lily pond surrounded by firs and reeds. Duchamp in particular opened the way for artists to explore new art forms and combinations of multimedia. In the second half of the 20th century groups or movements that advanced the concept of multimedia included the ...

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Area in a theatre between the stage and the audience’s seating area. In the ancient Greek theatre this was a large circular space used by the chorus and dancers in the ancient Roman theatre it was semicircular and reserved as seating for distinguished spectators in the modern theatre it is a narrow space, usually sunken (the ‘pit’), for musicians....

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Parodos  

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Skene  

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Sky art  

Astrid A. Hiemer

Term coined by Otto Piene in 1969 and described by him as: ‘The arbitrator between man-made feelings and emotions and yearnings evoked by earth and sky and their overwhelming size and power …. Technology helps to distribute and connect while we keep it from dulling the senses and numbing our imagination’ (see 1986 exh. cat.). By the 1980s sky art had become a movement centred around Piene and other artists at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA.

Piene’s early but most ambitious sky project was the Olympic Rainbow produced for the XX Olympiad in Munich, Germany (1972). In 1966 Christo had produced his 42,390 Cubic Feet Package at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, which was a precursor of sky art. In the same year as Piene’s Olympic Rainbow he constructed his Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado (see...

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