Articulating the tacit dimension in artmaking

Mike Jarvis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    It is important for artists not only to acknowledge the often ‘tacit’ nature of what they do, but to attempt to articulate their practice in a variety of contexts. Developing knowledge about the complicated processes of making art must inevitably lead to a more enlightened grasp, understanding and encouragement of the artist in the contemporary climate. Thus, the common multiplicity of roles assumed by the artist (e.g. the artist as curator or teacher) should have greater acknowledgement and lead to an enhanced sense of the worth of art in society. A more effective articulation of practice can enable the subsequent relationship between artist, artwork and viewer to become closer. The analysis of tacit and often hidden artmaking processes and meanings should help to develop a more informed viewer. In the article, I will discuss the practice of artist Alex Katz and how his techniques can be seen to mask the extensive effort involved in the design and construction of his paintings. The elegant surfaces of Katz's paintings belie the complex and tacit procedures of their making. I also maintain that by connecting the procedures of artmaking to active and reflective researching their often unacknowledged, implicit and tacit values can be better understood.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-214
    JournalJournal of Visual Arts Practice
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


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