Definitions for terms beginning with the letter C

Georges Braque, 'Bottle and Fishes' circa 1910-2
Cubism revolutionised approaches to representing reality in art



Georges Braque
Bottle and Fishes circa 1910-2
Oil on canvas
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2004
Tate glossary definition for C-print (or C-type print or chromogenic print) is a photographic print made from a colour negative or slide
Tate glossary definition for cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse): A collaborative drawing approach first used by surrealist artists to create bizarre and intuitive drawings
Tate glossary definition for Camden Town Group: British post-impressionist group founded by Walter Sickert in London in 1911
Tate glossary definition for canvas: Strong, woven cloth traditionally used by artists as a support (surface on which to paint)
Tate glossary definition for capitalist realism: A movement formed in Berlin in Germany in 1963 to challenge the dominating influence of American pop art in the Western world
Tate glossary definition for caricature: A painting, or more usually drawing, of a person or thing in which the features and form have been distorted and exaggerated in order to mock or satirise the subject
Tate definition for carving: Sculptural technique that involves using tools to shape a form by cutting or scraping away from a solid material such as stone or wood
Tate glossary definition for cast: A form created by pouring liquid material, such as plaster or molten metal, into a mould
Tate glossary definition for Cercle et Carré: Artist group formed in Paris in 1929 which strongly supported new developments in abstract art and in particular promoted mystical tendencies within it
Tate glossary definition for chalk: Soft powdery white or off-white writing or drawing material in crayon form, generally used on a blackboard or other dark surface
Tate glossary definition for charcoal: Black crumbly drawing material made of carbon and often used for sketching and under-drawing for paintings, although can also be used to create more finished drawings
Tate glossary definition for chiaroscuro: Italian term which translates as light-dark, and refers to the balance and pattern of light and shade in a painting or drawing
Tate glossary definition for cinematic: Relating to the cinema or having qualities characteristic of film
Tate glossary definition for Círculo y Cuadrado: Artist group formed in Paris in 1929 which strongly supported new developments in abstract art and in particular promoted mystical tendencies within it
Tate glossary definition for Civil War and Commonwealth: The period from 1641 when the Civil War broke out to 1660 when the monarchy was restored
Tate glossary definition for classicism: Art that makes reference to ancient Greek or Roman style
Tate glossary definition for The Clique: Informal society formed in around 1837 by a group of friends while they were students at the Royal Academy Schools in London
Tate glossary definition for CoBrA: Group formed in 1948 by artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam whose painting style was highly expressionist and inspired by the art of children
Tate glossary definition for collaborative: A term meaning to work together, or in conjunction with another, to engage in united labour
Tate glossary definition for collage: Used to describe both the technique and the resulting work of art in which pieces of paper, photographs, fabric and other ephemera are arranged and stuck down to a supporting surface
Tate glossary definition for collective: A group of artists working together to achieve a common objective
Tate glossary definition for colour field painting: Term used to describe the work of abstract painters working in the 1950s and 1960s characterised by large areas of a more or less flat single colour
Tate glossary definition for comic strip art: Art that imitates the style, commercial printing techniques and subject matter of comic strips
Tate glossary definition for community art: Artistic activity based in a community setting, characterised by interaction or dialogue with the community and often involving a professional artist
Tate glossary definition for complementary colours: Complementary colours are pairs of colours that contrast with each other more than any other colour, and when placed side-by-side make each other look brighter
Tate glossary definition for composition: The arrangement of elements within a work of art
Tate glossary definition for computer animation: Also known also as CGI animation, refers to the creation of moving graphics (animated images) using computer technology
Tate glossary definition for conceptual art: Term that came into use in the late 1960s to describe a wide range of types of art that elevated the concept or the idea behind the work over traditional aesthetic and material concerns
Tate glossary definition for conceptual photography: A type of photography that illustrates an idea
Tate glossary definition for concrete art: Abstract art that is entirely free of any basis in observed reality and that has no symbolic implications
Tate glossary definition for constructionism: An extension of constructivism in Britain from about 1950, with artists using naturally occurring proportional systems and rhythms to underpin their geometrical art
Tate glossary definition for constructivism: Particularly austere branch of abstract art founded by Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko in Russia around 1915
Tate glossary definition for contemporary art: Term loosely used to refer to art of the present day and of the relatively recent past, of an innovatory or avant-garde nature
Tate glossary definition for content: Content generally refers to the subject matter, meaning or significance of a work of art, as opposed to its form (size, shape, medium etc affecting what it looks like)
Tate glossary definition for conversation piece: Informal group portrait, small in scale, showing people – often families, sometimes groups of friends – in domestic interior or garden settings
Tate glossary definition for court: Artists employed by royal courts to paint portraits of the royal family and their courtiers
Tate glossary definition for craft: Craft is a form of making which generally produces an object that has a function: such as something you can wear, or eat or drink from
Tate glossary definition for creolisation: Originally a Caribbean concept, creolisation describes the mixing together of different people and cultures to become one
Tate glossary definition for Crypt Group: Splinter group of the St Ives Society of Artists made up of artists who worked in a modern abstract style that was very different from the traditional approach adopted by the majority of its members
Tate glossary definition for crystalist group: Founded in Khartoum 1971, the Crystalist group were a conceptual art group who challenged the art establishment in Sudan and sought to challenge the dominating masculine vision of art in the country
Tate glossary definition for cubism: A revolutionary new approach to representing reality in art invented by artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in which the artists aimed to bring different views of their subjects together in the same picture
Tate glossary definition for cultural democracy: A concept that emerged after the Second World War, which seeks to democratize culture in order to bring about an awareness and appreciation of art to as wide a section of society as possible
Tate glossary definition for Cultural Revolution: A social-political movement inspired by communist ideology that took place in China between 1966 and 1976, that aimed to rid the country of the middle classes
Tate glossary definition for curator: A curator is someone employed by a museum or gallery to manage a collection of artworks or artefacts
Tate glossary definition for cynical realism: Term used to describe a group of Beijing artists who painted the psychological fallout felt by the population in response to China’s rapid growth and ambiguous political ideology