10 March, 2011

"A child could do it."

Research by Angelina Hawley-Dolan and Ellen Winner, of the Psychology Department at Boston College, suggests that even the untrained eye can distinguish between paintings by abstract expressionists and similar works thrown to canvas by monkeys, elephants and children.


So how do we identify artists as professional, when both the monkey and the professional have delivered something that looks like scribbles on a page?

“When talking about judgment, when they were looking at the professional images, both the psychology and art students talked more about intention, like ‘this brush stroke looks more planned’,” says Hawley-Dolan. “They would talk about colours and how the maker planned the colours. They made reference to . . . seeing the mind behind the art.”

The study suggests that what sets a professional painter apart from an animal or a child is the viewers’ ability to see the thought that went into the painting. But that doesn’t mean we prefer it.

full story here


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