Intervisuality in Art – Definition, Examples, History & More – Art Theory Glossary

What is Intervisuality in Art?

Intervisuality in art refers to the relationship between different visual elements within a work of art, as well as the interaction between the viewer and the artwork itself. It involves the way in which images, symbols, and meanings are interconnected and communicate with each other visually.

Intervisuality can also refer to the way in which different art forms, such as painting, sculpture, photography, and performance art, interact with each other to create a cohesive and meaningful artistic experience for the viewer.

Historical Development of Intervisuality

The concept of intervisuality has its roots in the early 20th century, with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque experimenting with collage and assemblage techniques to create new visual relationships within their artworks.

As modernism and postmodernism emerged in the art world, artists began to explore the boundaries between different art forms and media, leading to the development of intervisuality as a key concept in contemporary art practices.

Key Concepts and Theories of Intervisuality

One key concept in intervisuality is the idea of intertextuality, which refers to the way in which different texts, images, and symbols reference and influence each other within a work of art. This can create layers of meaning and complexity for the viewer to interpret.

Another important theory in intervisuality is the notion of the “gaze,” which explores the relationship between the viewer and the artwork, as well as the power dynamics at play in the act of looking and being looked at.

Intervisuality in Contemporary Art Practices

In contemporary art practices, intervisuality is a common strategy used by artists to create multi-layered and immersive artworks that engage the viewer on multiple levels. Artists often incorporate elements of intervisuality to challenge traditional notions of art and aesthetics.

Intervisuality can also be seen in the use of digital technologies and new media, where artists combine different visual elements and interactive features to create dynamic and engaging art experiences for the viewer.

Examples of Intervisuality in Art

One example of intervisuality in art is the work of artist Cindy Sherman, who uses photography to explore themes of identity, gender, and representation. Through her use of self-portraiture and role-playing, Sherman creates complex visual narratives that challenge the viewer’s perceptions and assumptions.

Another example of intervisuality is the collaborative art practice of the artist duo Gilbert & George, who create large-scale photographic works that combine images, text, and symbols to address social and political issues. Their artworks often blur the boundaries between art and life, inviting the viewer to question the nature of reality and representation.

Impact and Significance of Intervisuality in Art

Intervisuality has had a significant impact on the way we understand and experience art, challenging traditional notions of authorship, originality, and interpretation. By creating new visual relationships and connections within artworks, intervisuality opens up new possibilities for meaning-making and engagement for both artists and viewers.

The significance of intervisuality in art lies in its ability to create dynamic and interactive art experiences that invite the viewer to actively participate in the creation and interpretation of meaning. It encourages us to think critically about the ways in which images, symbols, and meanings are constructed and communicated in art, and how these elements shape our understanding of the world around us.