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Realism, Intellectual, versus Realism, Sensory (AKA Realism, Visual)

Realism, Intellectual versus Realism, Sensory (AKA Realism, Visual) – In Fuquet’s intellectual realism:

The drawing contains elements of the model that are not seen but that the artist judges indispensable; conversely, the artist neglects elements of the model that are blindingly obvious but devoid of interest for the artist.

So, for example, X-ray art is intellectual realism, because the artist adds details that she cannot see, on the figure’s visible outside, but that she feels are important to the overall concept of the figure represented.

Fuquet opposes to intellectual realism what he calls visual realism (he is writing about figurative drawing), which I will call sensory realism—the technique and project of representing the real as perceived via sensations, as opposed to affects, interests, imaginations.

In figural visual art, this means painting only what you can see on the outside. In music, only recording what is audible to the ear. Conceptual art is intellectual, moving beyond this representational framework to suggest and explore the underlying concepts in toto.

The applications of this dichotomy in fiction are obvious: We generally write more that what a character “really can see/hear/touch.” We add emotional cues to set a mood and foreshadow narrative events. We psychologize and philosophize. (Blood Meridian is an exception.)

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