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Art Practice as Research

Art Practice as Research
Inquiry in Visual Arts

Second Edition

November 2009 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Art Practice as Research, Second Edition continues to present 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. 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.
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction: Re-Viewing Visual Arts Research
Changing Demands of Visual Arts Theory and Practice

Art Practice as Research

Using Art Practice as Research

1. Pigment to Pixel
The Enlightenment as a Research Project

Promise of Progress

Fractured Realities


2. Paradigms Lost
Method as Truth

Doubting Doctrines

The Visual Turn


3. Practice and Beyond
Theorizing Practice

Practice-Based and Practice-Led Research


4. Art Practice as Research
Beyond Knowledge to Understanding

Frameworks of Art Practice as Research

Art Practice as Relational Research

Art Practice as Transformative Research


5. Visual Knowing
Visual Cognition

Visual Arts Knowing: A Framework

Visual Arts as Transcognitive Practice

A Case Study: Critical Influence


6. Artist as Theorist
Sites of Making

Reemergence of the Artist-Theorist

Critical Perspectives and Practices


7. Visualizing Practices
A Framework of Visual Arts Practices

Visual Practice: Experiences

Empirical Inquiry: Exercises

Interpretive Discourse: Encounters

Critical Process: Enactments


8. Visual Arts Projects
Exhibition and Performance

Visual Arts Research Projects

Solid Endings and Liquid Beginnings

Uncertain Conclusions


“F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that the test of a 'first rate intelligence' is 'the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind and still retain the ability to function.'

In this book, his magnum opus, artist and scholar Graeme Sullivan shows us a first rate mind at work. He convincingly straddles the often wide gaps between art and science, mind and body, research and practice, teaching and doing, traditional and postmodern views of education and of art, creative and critical thinking. Indeed, as his enigmatic title indicates, he is actually able to keep three usually disparate concepts—art, research, and practice—in mind at the same time. Through his skilled use of compelling sidebars and apt illustrations, Sullivan shows that he can practice what he preaches. I have been arguing with and learning from Graeme for thirty years and am grateful that he has the opportunity to share his provocative ideas and insights with a wider readership. Indeed, whether or not we agree with every contention, he heightens our own intelligences.”

Howard Gardner
Harvard Graduate School of Education and Author: Five Minds for the Future

This is an excellent text and I have recommend to students who are engaged in arts-informed and alternate research practices.

Professor Nancy Davis Halifax
Critical Disability Studies, York Univ
March 22, 2011

This would be great for a graduate level course; I was considering it for an undergraduate general education course and it's not a good enough fit. Good book, though!

Dr Sarah Kuhn
Interdiscipline Dept, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
April 23, 2010

Offers an approach to developing interpretation that is simultaneously profound and accessible. This has been a great addition to my Media Criticism class.

Dr Ralph Beliveau
College Of Journal & Mass Comm, University of Oklahoma
March 8, 2010

Graeme Sullivan

Graeme is Director of the School of Visual Arts, Penn State University, and Professor of Art Education. He is the former Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University. He received both his PhD and MA in Art Education from The Ohio State University. Since the early 1990s his research has involved an ongoing investigation of thinking processes in visual arts and studio-based research practices. These ideas and approaches are described in the new edition of Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts ( Graeme has published widely in the field of art education and... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412974516