Art Practice as Research : Inquiry in the Visual Arts

Art Practice as Research : Inquiry in the Visual Arts

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Book Description

“Sullivan challenges our assumptions about what constitutes research practices and in doing so presents a ground-breaking analysis for visual arts practice as research. This compelling image-text book opens the possibilities for the construction of new forms of knowledge in our increasingly visual world.”
—Dipti Desai, New York University
“Sullivan provides a timely and excellent introduction to the emerging field of visual cognition and educational research.”
—Pradeep A. Dhillon, University of Illinois
“In this rich and layered reflection on visual arts practice as research, Graeme Sullivan launches a passionate and convincing case that rewrites the definitions of ‘art’ and ‘research’ as it unapologetically claims for the visual arts the respect and admiration of the academy.”
—Jessica Hoffman Davis, Harvard University
Art Practice as Research is long overdue. Graeme Sullivan eloquently crafts a methodology text and articulates for contemporary visual artist-researchers how arts practices are, in fact, rich forms of research inquiry.”
—Rita L. Irwin, University of British Columbia, Canada
“Sullivan’s text is an important addition to the literature associated with research, critical inquiry, and arts education. I wish that such a text would have been available at the time that I was working on my dissertation. I will recommend it to my graduate students and colleagues.”
—Doug Blandy, University of Oregon

Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the VisualArts presents a compelling argument that the creative and cultural inquiry undertaken by artists is a form of research. The text explores themes, practices, and contexts of artistic inquiry and positions them within the discourse of research. Author Graeme Sullivan argues that legitimate research goals can be achieved by choosing different methods than those offered by the social sciences. The common denominator in both approaches is the attention given to rigor and systematic inquiry. Artists emphasize the role of the imaginative intellect in creating, criticizing, and constructing knowledge that is not only new but also has the capacity to transform human understanding.

The book is divided into three content areas that provide a unique framework for carrying out inquiry in the visual arts:

  • Contexts for Visual Arts Research is a historical review that positions the visual arts as a culturally grounded and institutionally bound area of artistic and educational inquiry.
  • Theorizing Visual Arts Practice presents the thesis that visual arts practice is a theoretically robust area of inquiry and a transformative approach to creating and critiquing knowledge.
  • Visual Arts Research Practices describes a range of strategies and approaches to planning and carrying out visual arts research.

Art Practice as Research is perfectly suited as a text for courses in art education, the visual arts, as well as general research methods courses in education and the humanities. This will also be an invaluable reference for anyone with an interest in interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and the role of imaginative inquiry in human understanding.