Abstract Art

noun. / ˈabˌstrakt ärt /

1). Abstract art achieves its effects without directly referencing anything in the real world. Instead, it uses the formal elements of art: line, shape, form, color, space, texture, value and composition.

Action Painting

noun. / ˈakSH(ə)n ˈpān(t)iNG /

1). Action painting is a spontaneous painting style that involves dripping, splashing and smearing paint directly onto the canvas. Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner pioneered action painting.


noun and verb. / əˈtriˌbyo͞ot /

1). An attribute is a symbol associated with a specific person, like a saint, that is used to identify them in art.

2). When experts attribute a work of art to an artist, they certify that it is likely made by that artist -- likely but not definitely. Attribution is a step below authentication in certainty.


noun. / ˌôTHenˈtisədē /

1). In the art market, authenticity is everything. You have to trust that you’re buying the real thing, so it is important to keep “certificates of authenticity” and other documents that prove a work of art is genuine. Some people train their whole lives to understand an artist’s market. These “connoisseurs” can help you determine the authenticity of a work of art.

2). Everywhere else, authenticity is a myth. Museums present certain objects as “authentic” representations of culture. But in reality, culture is more complicated than that. It resists being labeled “authentic” or “inauthentic.”


noun and verb. / əˈdiSH(ə)n /

1). An edition is a run of prints, sculptures and other replicable works of art. Some are “open editions,” meaning that the art can be infinitely reproduced. But most are “limited editions,” meaning that there is a limited amount of genuine works of art in the series.

2). A work of art from an edition is also called an “edition.” Prints and sculptures from the same edition are identical but they can be precious. They are usually signed and numbered by the artist. Buying editions is a great way to start buying art and supporting artists. They can reach wider audiences at lower, more accessible prices and they are each unique works of art in their own way.