The aesthetic experience with visual art "at first glance"
The aesthetic experience with visual art has been shown to occur in two stages. Upon initial exposure to a painting, a viewer spontaneously generates a global impression, or gist, of the work. One's first impression of a painting includes a sense of its pictorial content, overall structural organization and style, meaningfulness, and an affective reaction to it. When gist information in a painting is deemed to have sufficient interest to an observer, the second stage of aesthetic processing ensues. This consists of directed focal exploration of the image to expand knowledge concerning the work's compositional features and organization to satisfy cognitive curiosity and to develop aesthetic appreciation of a composition. This chapter presents an overview of research findings that have identified the types of visual properties and semantically related information that collectively lead to the activation of what is labeled a "painting gist" by this author. In addition, the influence of the painting gist response on the focal exploration of paintings is discussed.
Bundgaard Peer F., Stjernfelt Frederik (2015) Investigations into the phenomenology and the ontology of the work of art: what are artworks and how do we experience them?. Dordrecht, Springer.
Locher Paul J. (2015) „The aesthetic experience with visual art "at first glance"“, In: P. F. Bundgaard & F. Stjernfelt (eds.), Investigations into the phenomenology and the ontology of the work of art, Dordrecht, Springer, 75–88.