Plastic arts

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Plastic arts are art forms which involve physical manipulation of a plastic medium by moulding or modeling such as sculpture or ceramics. The term has also been applied more broadly to all the visual arts (such as painting, sculpture, film and photography).[1]

Materials for use in the plastic arts, in the narrower definition, include those that can be carved or shaped, such as stone or wood, concrete, or metal. "Plastics" meaning certain synthetic organic resins have been used ever since they were invented, but the term "plastic arts" long preceded them. The term should not be confused with Piet Mondrian's concept of "Neoplasticism".


plastic art:
  1 : art (as sculpture or bas-relief) characterized by modeling : three-dimensional art
  2 : visual art (as painting, sculpture, photography or film) especially as distinguished from art that is written (as poetry or music) —often used in plural

Therefore, it is safe to say that plastic arts in the narrower sense are those visual arts that involve the use of materials such as clay, plaster, wood, gold, silver or copper, for instance, that can be moulded or modulated in some way, often in three dimensions.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Merriam-Webster Online (entry for "plastic arts")". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Barnes, A. C., The Art in Painting, 3rd ed., 1937, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., NY. OCLC 1572753
  • Bukumirovic, D. (1998). Maga Magazinovic. Biblioteka Fatalne srpkinje knj. br. 4. Beograd: Narodna knj.
  • Fazenda, M. J. (1997). Between the pictorial and the expression of ideas: the plastic arts and literature in the dance of Paula Massano. N.p.
  • Gerón, C. (2000). Enciclopedia de las artes plásticas dominicanas: 1844-2000. 4th ed. Dominican Republic s.n.