Signature artwork

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In art, signature artwork refers to works by popular and well-established artists that are easily recognized as theirs because of unique characteristics in style, medium, or subject matter.[1][2] A parallel to the recognition of a person's signature on a work is drawn indicating that the work itself may serve the same purpose to declare the creator because of unique characteristics. The existence of a body of works that demonstrate the characteristics identified as a signature artwork is necessary for the application of the term, and art critics focus upon the development of such "styles" as important for determining the significance of an artist's work.[3] Signature artwork also refers to distinctive works that may be easily recognized without having to ascertain the school of art, the cultural identity of a style, or the historical period during which a work was created.

Among painters the melting landscapes of Salvador Dalí [4] and the dripped paintings of Jackson Pollock [5][6] serve as signature artworks of those artists. Consistency is highly valued among professional painters, for example, the American Watercolor Society will not admit a painter who has not demonstrated an established "style" that remains consistent for a period of time, but most painters follow a personal path exploring their chosen medium that has a similar result without being required for membership in a professional organization.

Among sculptors, Alexander Calder used colors distinctively [7] and one of his mobiles is as readily identified as his work as is a stegosaurus by Jim Gary.[8] These often are referred to as signature artworks for them.

Schools of art bear similar characteristics that enable easy recognition, such as the Impressionists and they may be described as signature artworks of the school.

Similar uses of signature exist in many fields of the arts and sciences to identify distinctive characteristics as well as in retailing of merchandise.

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  1. ^ "Signature Style" discussed in a department of fine arts publication of Arizona State University [1]
  2. ^ Museum of Modern Art, Collection, A Signature Style One: Number 31, 1950 is an immense network of overlapping lines, drips, and splatters of paint on canvas. To create this and his other drip paintings, Pollock began by tacking unstretched, unprimed canvas to the floor...[2]
  3. ^ Horsley, Carter B., Mud Pies, Jackson Pollock, Museum of Modern Art, November 1, 1998 to February 2, 1999, The Tate Gallery, London March 11 to June 6, 1999 While it is de rigueur to concentrate on the "signature" works that define an artist’s "style," it is very important to understand its evolution...
  4. ^ Potter, Lindsay, THE (SUR)REAL LIFE: Multitude of Dalí prints hit museum, The Red and Black, April 13, 2011 Salvador Dali, whose signature mustache and eccentric art buzzed the art world, has 100 prints on display in the Georgia Museum of Art. Photograph by Sarah Lundgren
  5. ^ Horsley, Carter B., Mud Pies, Jackson Pollock, Museum of Modern Art, November 1, 1998 to February 2, 1999, The Tate Gallery, London March 11 to June 6, 1999 While it is de rigueur to concentrate on the "signature" works that define an artist’s "style," it is very important to understand its evolution...
  6. ^ Villacorta, Natalie, Jackson Pollock, Physicist?, July 6, 2011, Science Now aaas.org Known as "Jack the Dripper," Jackson Pollock created his signature paintings of overlapping curls and streaks by dipping a stick or trowel into a container of paint and letting the paint stream onto canvas or paper spread on the floor. His iconic paintings appear to be manifestations of pure creativity...
  7. ^ Like other Braniff models, Calder used many colors on his "Tribute To Mexico." In addition to his signature colors of red, blue, yellow, and black, Calder used Green (a color he seldom used).
  8. ^ Benz, Kafi, Jim Gary's Twentieth Century Dinosaurs, Kafi Benz Productions, September 22, 2009, Although his signature work is often quite large—sometimes over sixty feet—smaller pieces were created, ranging down to table-top-size.

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