In the simplest sense, a work of art has certain physical properties. It is made of a material, e.g., wood, marble, clay, paint on canvas, ink on paper, which possesses texture, contains shapes, occupies a portion of space, reflects certain colors, and is apprehended over time. In addition, these colors, textures, and shapes are organized together in a certain way. These material and organizational qualities of a work of art are called its formal properties.
These material and organizational qualities of a work of art are called its formal properties, and discussion about the value of art from this perspective is to consider a formal theory of art.
Robert H. Mikolofskis
One of the most influential of all twentieth-centuiry art movements