Art Primers

How does a still image represent the flow of time? How do you tell a story with a single image? How do you bring to life a biblical, historical, or mythological event from a time distant from the viewer’s? Faced with these dilemmas, artists have explored various ways to address the issue of temporality in their work, experimenting with symbols, compositions, and other visual devices.

Image credit:
Abraham van Beyeren
A Roemer with Grapes, a Pewter Plate, and a Roll, 17th century (detail)
Oil on wood panel
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1984