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The Big Idea for Sunday, March 31, 2013

Western art that preceded the high Renaissance in Europe tended to lack a sense of ambiguity, that is to say, these works do not lend themselves as well to multiple interpretations. A shift occurred, however, as art evolved and artists began to call out and acknowledge the spectator's role in creating meaning in a work of art.

This feature is particularly pronounced in the modern art movements of the 20th century that aligned themselves with gestalt psychology, and we are only starting to understand the neuroscience behind the way our minds construct different mental images of the same object.


  1. 1 The Beholder's Response: How the Brain Responds to Ambiguity in Art
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 What’s Black and White and Picasso All Over?
    Bob Duggan Picture This
  3. 3 When a Pipe Is Not a Pipe: How Shifting Perspective Creates Insight, Creativity, and Mindfulness
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice
  4. 4 Art and Sacredness: A Hostile Relationship
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius


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