Artsy for Education
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New Genes!

We’re very excited to share a selection of new genes created by The Art Genome Project over the past few months.

Some were created in response to new works being added to the site, such as through Artsy’s work with art fairs like Art Toronto and Istanbul Contemporary. For example, see our new genes for Contemporary Canadian Art and Contemporary Turkish Art.

Others were created when we realized that a certain pre-existing gene encompassed numerous, more specific sub-categories. For example, Vacant and Vacated Spaces, discussed below, is an outgrowth of the Sparse gene.

Below is the selection—enjoy exploring! And, as always, please do not hesitate to send feedback to genome@artsymail.com.


Vacant and Vacated Spaces
This gene captures a sense of loss or nostalgia in works that depict interiors, buildings or other man-made spaces devoid of human presence. Sometimes, as in this lithograph by Chris Ballantyne, even the most banal man-made environment can become disorienting and desolated when empty of people.

Traditional Photography Prints
In the early days of photography, developing a photograph required access to chemicals like collodion, silver nitrate or gold chloride, a knowledge of how to use them, and a knack for timing. As Anthony Lane has said, it was “about as easy as running a laboratory on a waterslide, against the clock.” Eschewing the ease of digital photography, many artists, like Sally Mann or Chuck Close, have returned to these processes which were generally used before 1875.

Complex Composition
Artworks with a dizzying level of complexity, often achieved through intricate patterning. Zoom in and enjoy!

CAD (Computer Aided Design)
This gene was added recently to better describe the design and architecture on the site (along with a group of other genes, such as Imitated Material and Non-Functional Design). Architects like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry are known for using computer software to design their structures, often resulting in incredibly novel forms atypical of traditional design practices.

Masonry Construction
This is one of the many genes we’ve recently added to better represent the architecture on the site. Many of the earliest-known buildings are masonry structures—or structures in which elements like brick or stone are laid on top of one another and bound using mortar. These include the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was the the tallest man-made structure for 3,800 years until it was outdone by the Gothic cathedrals of Europe.

Southern Gothic
Not to be confused with Gothic Architecture, Southern Gothic refers to a movement in American literature that looked at the darker side of life in the South. Contemporary art, too, often exhibits a fascination with the antebellum south. Such artists and artworks often evoke folklore, oral history, local isolated communities, concepts of the abnormal or "freakishness", as well as plantation life.

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