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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Volume 2013, Issue 195


Semiotics at the crossroads of art

Virve Sarapik
Published Online: 2013-06-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0037


This article first examines and compares three partly overlapping terms – visual semiotics, pictorial semiotics, and the semiotics of art – and aims at the specification of their interrelations. Then, the focus shifts to the problems of the semiotics of art, and the changing mutual relations between the semiotics of art and art history are analyzed. It is important to note that, during the last half-century, the notions of visual art, its ontology, and functions have thoroughly changed and, during recent decades, changes have also appeared on the meta-level of art history. The question is whether and how the semiotics of art should react to these changes.

Keywords: visual semiotics; pictorial semiotics; pictorial representation; visual culture; semiotics of art

About the article

Virve Sarapik

Virve Sarapik (b. 1961) is a senior research fellow at the Estonian Literary Museum and professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts 〈 〉. Her principal research interests include semiotics of culture, visual semiotics, and the relations between pictorial and verbal representation. Her publications include Language and art (1999); “Picture, text, and imagetext: Textual polylogy” (2009); and “Landscape: The problem of representation” (2002).

Estonian Literary Museum and Estonian Academy of Arts

Published Online: 2013-06-07

Published in Print: 2013-06-06

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2013, Issue 195, Pages 69–95, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0037.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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