The paradox of autistic art

Snyder, Allan W. & Thomas, Mandy (2001) The paradox of autistic art. Artlink : A Contemporary Art Magazine in Australia, 21(2), pp. 48-50.

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Certain autistic children whose linguistic ability is virtually nonexistent can draw natural scenes from memory with astonishing accuracy. In particular their drawings display convincing perspective. In contrast, normal children of the same preschool age group and even untrained adults draw primitive schematics or symbols of objects which they can verbally identify. These are usually conceptual outlines devoid of detail. It is argued that the difference between autistic child artists and normal individuals is that autistic artists make no assumptions about what is to be seen in their environment. They have not formed mental representations of what is significant and consequently perceive all details as equally important. Equivalently, they do not impose visual or linguistic schema -- a process necessary for rapid conceptualisation in a dynamic existence, especially when the information presented to the eye is incomplete.

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ID Code: 63078
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: A version of this article titled "Autistic Artists Give Clues to Cognition", was first published in PERCEPTTON, 1997 vol 26 pp 93-96.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Drawings, People with intellectual disabilities, Children with disabilities, Autism, Art
ISSN: 0727-1239
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > ANTHROPOLOGY (160100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: Copyright of Full Text rests with the original copyright owner and, except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, copying this copyright material is prohibited without the permission of the owner or its exclusive licensee or agent or by way of a licence from Copyright Agency Limited. For information about such licences contact Copyright Agency Limited on (02) 93947600 (ph) or (02) 9394760 I (fax)
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2013 01:25
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2013 01:38

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