Art criticism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search

Art criticism is the study and evaluation of art. This criticism usually involves the use of aesthetics or the philosophy of beauty although there are other techniques. Part of the purpose of art criticism is to have a rational basis for the appreciation of art and avoid subjective opinions of taste but this is not always achieved.

Art critics have probably existed for as long as there has been art and some people may argue that art is pointless without criticism. Usually though art criticism refers to a systematic study of art performed by people dedicated to that task rather than personal opinion. Throughout history wealthy patrons have been able to employ people to evaluate art for them in jobs similar to the art critic but it's probable that only from the 19th century onwards criticism had developed formal methods and became a more common vocation.

The variety of artistic movements, particularly in the late 19th and 20th century, means that art criticism is frequently divided into different disciplines, frequently using very different criteria for their judgements. The most common division in the field of criticism is between fine art and modern art although the later is often again subdivided.

Artists have often had an uneasy relationship with their critics. The artist usually needs positive opinions from the critic for their work to be viewed and purchased but it may be some time before a new form of art is properly understood and appreciated. Some critics are unable to adapt to new movements in art and allow their opinions to override their objectivity, resulting in inappropriately dated critique. John Ruskin famously compared one of James Whistler's paintings to "flinging a pot of paint in the public's face".

Criticism usually takes place in books, magazines and newspapers and more recently on television and the internet.

See also

Personal tools
In other languages