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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Study Examines Difference Between Abstract Expressionist Masterpieces And Paintings By Children

The image on the left was drawn by 4-year-old Jack Pezanosky. The image on the right shows a work by Abstract Expressionist Hans Hoffmann. The image on the left was drawn by 4-year-old Jack Pezanosky. The image on the right shows a work by Abstract Expressionist Hans Hoffmann.

Before beginning to read this article, please look at the images above. Which was drawn by a child and which by a well-known Abstract Expressionist? The answer lies a few paragraphs down.

How often have you heard people describe artworks by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko or Cy Twombly as drawings that a 5-year-old child could have made? The answer is probably, very often. But is this true? Can children produce art whose perceived quality, as least by widespread artistic circles, matches that of renowned artists who sell their art for millions of dollars?

Boston College psychologists Angelina Hawley-Dolan and Ellen Winner's research, recently published in the journal Psychological Science, seeks to answer this question. When comparing artworks created by a child or even a monkey to that of an acclaimed artist, whether non-aficionados like a particular artwork or not, they can usually identify it as the product of human creativity.

To further understand this study and its significance on our aesthetic behavior, MutualArt.com spoke with Hawley-Dolan about how people evaluate the skill in those who paint or sculpt non-representationally.

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