Definitions for terms beginning with the letter S

Salvador Dali, 'Lobster Telephone' 1936
Surrealism began in the 1920s, and was a movement of writers and artists who experimented with ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination

Salvador Dalí
Lobster Telephone 1936
© Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2002
Tate glossary definition for salon: Originally the name of the official art exhibitions organised by the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and its successor the Academy of Fine Arts
Tate glossary definition for sampling: In its most basic form sampling simply re-processes existing culture, usually technologically, in much the same way a collage does
Tate glossary definition for São Paulo Biennial: Large two-yearly exhibition held in São Paulo, Brazil hosting national presentations of contemporary art
Tate glossary definition for School of Altamira: Avant-garde art school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, founded in 1946 with the aim of promoting the idea that a new art was necessary to reflect the modern world as revealed by science
Tate glossary definition for School of London: London-based painters who were pursuing forms of figurative painting in the face of avant-garde approaches in the 1970s
Tate glossary definition for School of Paris: Term describing the early years of the twentieth century when Paris became a magnet for artists from all over the world and the focus of the principal innovations of modern art
Tate glossary definition for Scottish Colourists: Group of four Scottish artists, who were among the first to introduce the intense colour of the French Fauve movement into Britain in the 1920s
Tate glossary definition for screenprint: A variety of stencil printing, using a screen made from fabric (silk or synthetic) stretched tightly over a frame
Tate glossary definition for sculpture: Three-dimensional art made by one of four basic processes: carving, modelling, casting, constructing
Tate glossary definition for Scuola romana: An umbrella term for the artists based in Rome, or having close links with it, in the 1920s and 1930s
Tate glossary definition for secession: The breaking away of younger and more radical artists from an existing academy or art group to form a new grouping
Tate glossary definition for self-portrait: A portrait of the artist by the artist.
Tate glossary definition for Semana de Arte Moderna: An arts festival held in São Paulo in 1922, which was to be the first manifestation of Brazilian modernism
Tate glossary definition for sensorial: Describes art that seeks to engage the audience by activating the senses
Tate glossary definition for serial art: Art that adheres to a strict set of rules to determine its composition or to determine a series of compositions
Tate glossary definition for The Seven and Five Society: Formed in London in 1919 The Seven and Five Society was initially a conservative group and can be seen as a British manifestation of the return to order that followed the First World War
Tate glossary definition for shaped canvas: Term used to describe a canvas that is not the traditional rectangular shape
Tate glossary definition for significant form: Term coined by art critic Clive Bell in 1914 to describe the idea that the form of an artwork or forms within an artwork can be expressive even if largely or completely divorced from appearances
Tate glossary definition for simulacrum: A term from Greek Platonic philosophy that meant a copy of a copy of an ideal form
Tate glossary definition for simultanism: Term invented by artist Robert Delaunay to describe the abstract painting developed by him and his wife Sonia Delaunay from about 1910
Tate glossary definition for site-specific: Refers to a work of art designed specifically for a particular location and that has an interrelationship with the location
Tate glossary definition for Situationist International: Revolutionary alliance of European avant-garde artists, writers and poets formed at a conference in Italy in 1957 (as Internationale Situationiste or IS)
Tate glossary definition for social realism: Refers to any realist painting that also carries a clearly discernible social or political comment
Tate glossary definition for social sculpture: Theory developed by the artist Joseph Beuys in the 1970s based on the concept that everything is art and, as a result, everyone has the potential to
Tate glossary definition for social turn: Term first used in 2006 to describe a recent return to socially engaged art that is collaborative, often participatory and involves people as the medium or material of the work
Tate glossary definition for socialist realism: A form of modern realism imposed in Russia by Stalin and characterised by rigorously optimistic pictures of Soviet life created in a realist style
Tate glossary definition for socially engaged practice: Term used to describe socially engaged art that is collaborative, often participatory and involves people as the medium or material of the work
Tate glossary definition for software art: Art created using software programmes. It is closely related to Net art because of its reliance of the World Wide Web as a tool for dissemination
Tate glossary definition for solarisation: Technique that involves exposing a partially developed photograph to light, before continuing processing, creating halo-like effects
Tate glossary definition for Sots art: Art that appeared in the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s which adapts the techniques of socialist realism to critique its ideological basis and question its cultural implications
Tate glossary definition for sound art: Art about sound, using sound both as its medium and as its subject
Tate glossary definition for spazialismo: Italian movement started by the Argentine-born Italian artist Lucio Fontana in 1947 who, in its manifesto, stated that art should embrace science and technology
Tate glossary definition for Spiral: A New York based African American collective formed in 1963 with the aim of addressing how African-American artists should respond to America’s changing political and cultural landscape
Tate glossary definition for St Ives School: Artists associated with the fishing town of St Ives in West Cornwall, which became a centre for modern and abstract developments in British art from the 1940s to the 1960s
Tate glossary definition for St John’s Wood clique: A loose association of painters who lived in the St John’s Wood area of London in the 1870s and 1880s, and who aimed to seek a fresh approach to historical subjects
Tate glossary definition for stars group: A short-lived avant-garde group of self-taught artists operating in Beijing between 1979 and 1983, staging outdoor exhibitions, street demonstrations and public readings
Tate glossary definition for still life: One of the principal genres (subject types) of Western art – essentially, the subject matter of a still life painting or sculpture is anything that does not move or is dead
Tate glossary definition for street art: Related to graffiti writing in that it is created in public locations and is usually unsanctioned, but it covers a wider range of media and is more connected with graphic design
Tate glossary definition for Stuart: Refers to the reigns of seventeenth-century British monarchs Charles I and Charles II who were part of the Stuart dynasty
Tate glossary definition for Stuckism: Founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999, Stuckism is an art movement that is anti-conceptual and champions figurative painting
Tate glossary definition for subjective photography: An international movement founded in Germany by the photographer Otto Steinert in 1951 championing photography that explored the inner psyche and human condition rather than reflecting the outside world
Tate glossary definition for sublime: Theory developed by Edmund Burke in the mid eighteenth century, where he defined sublime art as art that refers to a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation
Tate glossary definition for Superflat: A concept devised by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami based on the principle that all creative works on a flat surface are two-dimensional and as a result should be given equal weight be they fine art, pop vide
Tate glossary definition for supra-sensorial: A term devised by the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica to describe the experience of being in one of his installations which were designed to encourage the viewer’s emotional and intellectual part
Tate glossary definition for suprematism: Name given by the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich to the abstract art he developed from 1913 characterised by basic geometric forms, such as circles and lines, painted in a limited range of colours
Tate glossary definition for surrealism: Movement, which began in the 1920s, of writers and artists who experimented with ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination
Tate glossary definition for symbolism: Late nineteenth-century movement that advocated the expression of an idea over the realistic description of the natural world
Tate glossary definition for synaesthesia: A neurological condition in which the stimulation of a sense (like touch or hearing) leads involuntarily to the triggering of another sense (like sight or taste)
Tate glossary definition for synthetic cubism: The later phase of cubism, generally considered to run from about 1912 to 1914, characterised by simpler shapes and brighter colours
Tate glossary definition for synthetism: Term associated with the style of symbolic representation adopted by Paul Gauguin and his followers in the 1880s characterised by flat areas of colour and bold outlines
Tate glossary definition for systems art: Loosely describes a group of radical artists working in the late 1960s early 1970s who reacted against art’s traditional focus on the object with the aim of making their art more responsive to the world