Gleaned this from an article I read online. If you are at an art show or are seriously into art, it is good to learn a few of these words. You see when someone says "modern art", it really isn't modern, he is actually talking about art done in1860s to1970s. Horrified? So there, check out the glossary !
Credit : http://www.jerrysartarama.com/blog/can-you-speak-like-an-artist/
Abstract: Of or pertaining to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms especially with reference to their relationship to one another.
Abstract Expressionism: A movement in experimental, nonrepresentational painting originating in the U.S. in the 1940s, with sources in earlier movements and embracing many individual styles marked in common by freedom of technique, a preference for dramatically large canvases, and a desire to give spontaneous expression to the unconscious. Think Jackson Pollock.
Chiaroscuro(chi-a-ro-scu-ro): The term for a contrast between light and dark.
Derivative: Not original. Secondary.
Hyper-reality: exxagerated in comparison to reality; when the reproduced takes place of reality.
Grisaille: A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray.
Impressionistic: Stylistically characterized by short brush strokes of bright colors in immediate juxtaposition to represent the effect of light on objects or a manner of painting in which forms, colors, or tones of an object are lightly and rapidly indicated with little attention to details.
Interesting: What you can always say when you really have nothing to say about a piece that doesn’t strike your fancy or that you don’t understand.
Kinetic art: Art relating to or involving motion.
Machine aesthetic: An optimistic belief in the role of abstraction in human life, and an emphasis on machine-like, undecorated flat surfaces.
Metonymy: Naming an attribute or adjunct of the thing itself: “Crown” for royalty or saying “count heads” for counting people.
Metanarrative: Any story told to justify another story or a story about oneself that provides a narrative of one’s experiences.
Modern: Art that was produced in the late 1860s through the 1970s that rejected traditionally accepted forms and emphasized individual experimentation and sensibility.
Nude: An idealized version of the naked human form.
Realistic:A style where a treatment of forms, colors, space, etc. is in such a manner as to emphasize their correspondance to actuality or to ordinary visual experience.
Relational art: Often performative and interactive techniques that rely on the responses of others: pedestrians, shoppers, casual observers who become observers-turned-participants.
Semiology: An omen, mark, sign, or trace.
Semulacrum: A vague representation, a semblance, or likeness to an object, person or place.
Sublime: of such excellence, beauty, perfection as to inspire awe. Often accompanied with a sense of morality.
Synecdoche: A representation where the part is used for the whole or the whole for the part.
And if your mind is like mine, can't digest all that (!!!), just remember this question, " What really is art?" Sounds good, clever and knowledgeable enough? You betcha. Haha...