Perception of expression distinguishes our cognitive activity in a pervasive, significant and peculiar way, and manifests itself paradigmatically in the vast world of artistic production.

Art and Expression examines the cognitive processes involved in artistic production, aesthetic reception, understanding and enjoyment. Using a phenomenological theoretical and methodological framework, developed by Rudolf Arnheim and other important scholars interested in expressive media, Alberto Argenton considers a wide range of artistic works, which span the whole arc of the history of western graphic and pictorial art. Argenton analyses the representational strategies of a dynamic and expressive character that can be reduced to basic aspects of perception, like obliqueness, amodal completion, and the bilateral function of contour, giving new directions relative to the functioning of cognitive activity.

Art and Expression is a monument to the fruitful collaboration of art history and psychology, and Argenton has taken great care to construct a meaningful psychological approach to the arts based also on a knowledge of pictorial genres that allows him to systematically situate the works under scrutiny. Art and Expression is an essential resource for postgraduate researchers and scholars interested in visual perception, art, and gestalt psychology.

part 1I|2 pages

Expression and the dynamics of perception

chapter 1|37 pages

Expression and expressive qualities

part 69II|2 pages

Thematic studies