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Art AppreciationArt Criticism: How and (Why) to         Critique Art
Art Criticism
Liberal ArtsIn classical antiquity, the "liberal arts"denoted the education worthy of a freeperson (Latin: liber, "free")....
Liberal Arts vs. Dogma andAuthorityThe American Association for theAdvancement of Science describes aliberal education in ...
Criticality means becoming aware of one’s own blind-spots and cognitive biases:
What are you talking about, there’s no elephant in this room!?
We are well prepared and have foreseen all possibilities…..
Just Trust us, this is totally safe, nothing can go wrong…..
THINGS CAN, AND WILL, GO WRONG.
Well……..?That’s why Critical Thinkingmatters…..in its broadestsense it can be described aspurposeful reflectivejudgment co...
Fair and Unbiased ?
He seemed like a nice guy….
IF SOMETHING SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS
Who or what can I believe?
BACK TO ART
I don’t know anything about art,     but I know what I like.  And I really don’t need a class to help me with this, dude…..
Taste
TasteTaste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic andanthropological concept refers to cultural patterns of choiceand pre...
What determines aesthetic      judgements?
What gives us certain tastes?
Is it really just a function of our          “ingroup” bias?
And why should we even care about      things we don’t like ?
Well, for one…..because art exists for more than one subgroup or           individual….
Art is part of our Public (shared)            Experience
ART is reflective of theHUMAN EXPERIENCE…goodand bad.  Edvard Munch, “The Scream”  1893, National Gallery, Oslo Norway.
ART is not just for interior design and  we are not just “CONSUMERS”!
We are CITIZENS!
NOT SLAVES….
Actual powerpoint slide from a Market Strategists’ Presentation
Actual powerpoint slide from a Market Strategists’ Presentation
…..and this is why Museums and   Galleries are so important.     ITS GOOD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and AWAY     FROM THE MA...
AND REMEMBER
A “CONNOISSEUR” IS NOT CRITICALWall Street Rich Dude                        Child of Wall Street Rich Dude
A “CONNOISSEUR” EXPERIENCES AND     DISCERNS BUT DOES NOT EXAMINE              AND ANALYZE• They in the business of creati...
Lower-middle class, low class preference.                                            Upper-middle class, upper class prefe...
Lower-middle class, low class preference.                                            Upper-middle class, upper class prefe...
CONTEMPORARY ART CAN BEEMOTIONALLY FRUSTRATING   That’s why these guys look so disturbed.
What are our VALUES•   Personal Values•   Political Values•   Cultural Values•   Sub-Cultural Values•   Class Values•   Na...
ART IS POWERFULThe reason art can please, is alsobecause it can displease…..
ART IS POWERFUL…. it can alternately challenge orreinforce the value system of any givenculture.It is one of many place wh...
EGYPTMenkaure and QueenKamerernebty
Old Kingdom, AncientEgypt
4th Dynasty
2548-2530 BCEEgyptians Valued STABILITY…..It’s c...
ART and BEAUTYArt can be beautiful.But what is Beauty?Who gets to decide?
ART and BEAUTYArt should comfort thedisturbed and disturbthe comfortable!It has MANY purposes.
Official North Korean Art
Socialist Realism……pretty as a picture???
NOT SO PRETTYSoviet Union, Stalins regime(1924-53): 20 million DEAD.“As long as art is the beautyparlor of civilization, n...
Alex Schaeferhttp://alexanderschaefer.blogspot.com/
This print was not really meant to “hang” over the couch….
ART CHANGES CULTURE
•   Impressionism started as a    rebellious art movement by    four students, was mocked and    ridiculed 20 years before...
Édouard Manet, Olympia, oil on canvas, 1863.
•   Olympia stirred an enormous uproar    when it was first exhibited at the    1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives    condemn...
• BAD   • GOOD
“Degenerate Art”
• BAD   • GOOD
The Nazi’s conflated Modernist art with mental and physical retardation.
“Quality”•   Is Relative•   Is Subjective•   Is hard to measure•   Is related to personal taste….
• How does society seem to measure the quality  of art if quality is so SUBJECTIVE?
MONEY$$$$$$$$$
$ 728.40
$ 7,284.00
$72,840.00
$728,400.00
$7,284,000.00
Mark Rothko, "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" (1950)
$72.84 MILLION
ONE MORE TIMEThat’s why Critical Thinkingmatters…..in its broadestsense it can be described aspurposeful reflectivejudgmen...
3 Types of Art Criticism• Formal Theories• Socio-cultural Theories• Expressive Theories
Formal Theories• Form over Content.• Style and Innovation are valued.
Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
Raphael. The Holy Family, 1518.
Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
Socio-cultural Theories• Political, Cultural, Social Values• Historical Context is emphasized.• Art embodies or resists do...
Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
The Church of the Frari, Venice.
Tintoretto. St Roch inthe Hospital. 1549, Oilon canvas.The plague was a constantdanger in the harbour city ofVenice, and t...
Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
Expressive Theories• Artist’s Biography is Primary.• Psychology and Intent are emphasized.• Humanistic and Individualistic.
Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
Titian. Self-Portrait, 1562.
The Feldman Method•   Description•   Analysis•   Interpretation•   Evaluation
Description
DescriptionVisual Elements:• Line, Implied Line• Shape• Mass/Volume• Illusion of Space• Time/Motion• Color Scheme• Texture
DescriptionQuestion to ask:• What is the subject  of the work?• What media is the  work executed in?• What is the  size/sc...
Analysis
AnalysisDesign Principles:• Unity and Variety• Balance• Emphasis/Subordinati  on• Directional Forces• Contrast• Repetition...
AnalysisSome questions to  consider:• How do the visual  elements contribute to  a mood?• What is the internal  relationsh...
Interpretation
Interpretation• Formal• Sociocultural• Expressive
InterpretationSome questions to consider:• How does the work relate  to the world it was made  (historical context)?• How ...
ARTIST STATEMENT:                     Karla Walter•    As an artist, it is important to recognize a message and seize that...
Evaluation
EvaluationSome questions to consider:•   Why does this work have (or not    have) “value”?•    What is it that makes the w...
The Feldman Method
The Feldman Method• Description
The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis
The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis• Interpretation
The Feldman Method•   Description•   Analysis•   Interpretation•   Evaluation
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Transcript of "Art Criticism"

  1. 1. Art AppreciationArt Criticism: How and (Why) to Critique Art
  2. 2. Art Criticism
  3. 3. Liberal ArtsIn classical antiquity, the "liberal arts"denoted the education worthy of a freeperson (Latin: liber, "free").The freemen, mostly concerned abouttheir rights and obligations as citizens,received a non-specialized, non-vocational, liberal arts education thatproduced well-rounded citizens awareof their place in society.Socrates and Aristotle emphasized theimportance of individualism, impressingupon their students the duty of man toform his own opinions through reasonrather than indoctrination.A slave market in Ancient Greece--
  4. 4. Liberal Arts vs. Dogma andAuthorityThe American Association for theAdvancement of Science describes aliberal education in this way: "Ideally, aliberal education produces persons whoare open-minded and free fromprovincialism, dogma, preconception,and ideology; conscious of their opinionsand judgments; reflective of theiractions; and aware of their place in thesocial and natural worlds.” Liberally educated people areskeptical of their own traditions;they are trained to think forthemselves rather than defer toauthority.
  5. 5. Criticality means becoming aware of one’s own blind-spots and cognitive biases:
  6. 6. What are you talking about, there’s no elephant in this room!?
  7. 7. We are well prepared and have foreseen all possibilities…..
  8. 8. Just Trust us, this is totally safe, nothing can go wrong…..
  9. 9. THINGS CAN, AND WILL, GO WRONG.
  10. 10. Well……..?That’s why Critical Thinkingmatters…..in its broadestsense it can be described aspurposeful reflectivejudgment concerning whatto believe or what to do.
  11. 11. Fair and Unbiased ?
  12. 12. He seemed like a nice guy….
  13. 13. IF SOMETHING SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS
  14. 14. Who or what can I believe?
  15. 15. BACK TO ART
  16. 16. I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like. And I really don’t need a class to help me with this, dude…..
  17. 17. Taste
  18. 18. TasteTaste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic andanthropological concept refers to cultural patterns of choiceand preference regarding aesthetic judgments.
  19. 19. What determines aesthetic judgements?
  20. 20. What gives us certain tastes?
  21. 21. Is it really just a function of our “ingroup” bias?
  22. 22. And why should we even care about things we don’t like ?
  23. 23. Well, for one…..because art exists for more than one subgroup or individual….
  24. 24. Art is part of our Public (shared) Experience
  25. 25. ART is reflective of theHUMAN EXPERIENCE…goodand bad. Edvard Munch, “The Scream” 1893, National Gallery, Oslo Norway.
  26. 26. ART is not just for interior design and we are not just “CONSUMERS”!
  27. 27. We are CITIZENS!
  28. 28. NOT SLAVES….
  29. 29. Actual powerpoint slide from a Market Strategists’ Presentation
  30. 30. Actual powerpoint slide from a Market Strategists’ Presentation
  31. 31. …..and this is why Museums and Galleries are so important. ITS GOOD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and AWAY FROM THE MARKETERS!!!
  32. 32. AND REMEMBER
  33. 33. A “CONNOISSEUR” IS NOT CRITICALWall Street Rich Dude Child of Wall Street Rich Dude
  34. 34. A “CONNOISSEUR” EXPERIENCES AND DISCERNS BUT DOES NOT EXAMINE AND ANALYZE• They in the business of creating notions of consumer “taste”. Their objective is to create social stratification- guideposts to determine the “tastes” of the cultivated elite versus the lumpen hordes of unsophisticated poor people.• I’m being melodramatic, but its more or less true.
  35. 35. Lower-middle class, low class preference. Upper-middle class, upper class preference.Easy to understand, does not tend toconfuse or alienate. Challenging, sometimes confusing. Seems to reject “beauty” and traditionalism.Wide, broad appeal-like “pop” music.This taste demonstrates your Smaller appeal, therefore perfect for the Elite.membership in a lower social level. This taste demonstrates your sophistication and membership to a higher social level.
  36. 36. Lower-middle class, low class preference. Upper-middle class, upper class preference.Easy to understand, does not tend toconfuse or alienate. Challenging, sometimes confusing. Seems to reject “beauty” and traditionalism.Wide, broad appeal-like “pop” music.This taste demonstrates your Smaller appeal, therefore perfect for the Elite.membership in a lower social level. This taste demonstrates your sophistication and membership to a higher social level.
  37. 37. CONTEMPORARY ART CAN BEEMOTIONALLY FRUSTRATING That’s why these guys look so disturbed.
  38. 38. What are our VALUES• Personal Values• Political Values• Cultural Values• Sub-Cultural Values• Class Values• National Values• Religious Values• Spiritual Values
  39. 39. ART IS POWERFULThe reason art can please, is alsobecause it can displease…..
  40. 40. ART IS POWERFUL…. it can alternately challenge orreinforce the value system of any givenculture.It is one of many place where apeoples discovers who they wish tobe….
  41. 41. EGYPTMenkaure and QueenKamerernebty
Old Kingdom, AncientEgypt
4th Dynasty
2548-2530 BCEEgyptians Valued STABILITY…..It’s civilization lasted roughly 2500-3000 years.
  42. 42. ART and BEAUTYArt can be beautiful.But what is Beauty?Who gets to decide?
  43. 43. ART and BEAUTYArt should comfort thedisturbed and disturbthe comfortable!It has MANY purposes.
  44. 44. Official North Korean Art
  45. 45. Socialist Realism……pretty as a picture???
  46. 46. NOT SO PRETTYSoviet Union, Stalins regime(1924-53): 20 million DEAD.“As long as art is the beautyparlor of civilization, neitherart nor civilization is secure.”-John Dewey
  47. 47. Alex Schaeferhttp://alexanderschaefer.blogspot.com/
  48. 48. This print was not really meant to “hang” over the couch….
  49. 49. ART CHANGES CULTURE
  50. 50. • Impressionism started as a rebellious art movement by four students, was mocked and ridiculed 20 years before being reluctantly accepted…and yet today it is considered one of the most important art movements in history.
  51. 51. Édouard Manet, Olympia, oil on canvas, 1863.
  52. 52. • Olympia stirred an enormous uproar when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work as "immoral" and "vulgar." One journalist later recalled, "If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration.”• However, the work had proponents as well. Emile Zola quickly proclaimed it Manets "masterpiece" and added, "When other artists correct nature by painting Venus they lie. Manet asked himself why he should lie. Why not tell the truth?"
  53. 53. • BAD • GOOD
  54. 54. “Degenerate Art”
  55. 55. • BAD • GOOD
  56. 56. The Nazi’s conflated Modernist art with mental and physical retardation.
  57. 57. “Quality”• Is Relative• Is Subjective• Is hard to measure• Is related to personal taste….
  58. 58. • How does society seem to measure the quality of art if quality is so SUBJECTIVE?
  59. 59. MONEY$$$$$$$$$
  60. 60. $ 728.40
  61. 61. $ 7,284.00
  62. 62. $72,840.00
  63. 63. $728,400.00
  64. 64. $7,284,000.00
  65. 65. Mark Rothko, "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" (1950)
  66. 66. $72.84 MILLION
  67. 67. ONE MORE TIMEThat’s why Critical Thinkingmatters…..in its broadestsense it can be described aspurposeful reflectivejudgment concerning whatto believe or what to do.
  68. 68. 3 Types of Art Criticism• Formal Theories• Socio-cultural Theories• Expressive Theories
  69. 69. Formal Theories• Form over Content.• Style and Innovation are valued.
  70. 70. Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
  71. 71. Raphael. The Holy Family, 1518.
  72. 72. Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
  73. 73. Socio-cultural Theories• Political, Cultural, Social Values• Historical Context is emphasized.• Art embodies or resists dominant cultural attitudes and themes.
  74. 74. Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
  75. 75. The Church of the Frari, Venice.
  76. 76. Tintoretto. St Roch inthe Hospital. 1549, Oilon canvas.The plague was a constantdanger in the harbour city ofVenice, and the state soughtto counter it by taking carefulprecautionary measures, forinstance the building of theLazzaretto Nuovo as aquarantine hospital around1470. Tintorettos paintingcould equally well show theplague hospital of theLazzaretto Vecchio, also builton an island in the lagoon asearly as 1423. The youngwomen shown here enteringfrom the sides of the pictureto wash the sick, bind up theirsores, and feed them, areprobably unemployedprostitutes, who werepressed into service in theLazzaretto Vecchio in times ofplague.
  77. 77. Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
  78. 78. Expressive Theories• Artist’s Biography is Primary.• Psychology and Intent are emphasized.• Humanistic and Individualistic.
  79. 79. Titian. Pietà, 1576.Oil on Canvas. 149”x136”.
  80. 80. Titian. Self-Portrait, 1562.
  81. 81. The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis• Interpretation• Evaluation
  82. 82. Description
  83. 83. DescriptionVisual Elements:• Line, Implied Line• Shape• Mass/Volume• Illusion of Space• Time/Motion• Color Scheme• Texture
  84. 84. DescriptionQuestion to ask:• What is the subject of the work?• What media is the work executed in?• What is the size/scale ?
  85. 85. Analysis
  86. 86. AnalysisDesign Principles:• Unity and Variety• Balance• Emphasis/Subordinati on• Directional Forces• Contrast• Repetition and Rhythm• Scale and Proportion
  87. 87. AnalysisSome questions to consider:• How do the visual elements contribute to a mood?• What is the internal relationship between the objects or subjects depicted?• How does the form communicate the content?
  88. 88. Interpretation
  89. 89. Interpretation• Formal• Sociocultural• Expressive
  90. 90. InterpretationSome questions to consider:• How does the work relate to the world it was made (historical context)?• How does the work relate to today’s world?• What does the piece remind you of, how does it make you feel?• What is the MEANING of the piece?
  91. 91. ARTIST STATEMENT: Karla Walter• As an artist, it is important to recognize a message and seize that moment. Crows are messengers, omens for change. Several personal encounters with crows have compelled me to express my personal creativity through this messenger. This body of work explores the similarities between the social interactions among crows and that of humans. To know the crow is to know ourselves. This is the journey I have taken with this body of work.• The common crow maintains a unique place in our ecosystem thanks to their intelligence and strong family values. They are social, opportunistic, vocal, visual, shrewd, and reliant on memory and individual recognition. Crows are tricksters and the wise guys of the bird world. We all know someone who has these traits. I believe that this is why we relate to them and maybe see ourselves in
  92. 92. Evaluation
  93. 93. EvaluationSome questions to consider:• Why does this work have (or not have) “value”?• What is it that makes the work worth considering among others? What is valuable to you in a work of art?• Are there things that others may value that you do not?• Does the piece communicate an idea or feeling well, or do you remain unmoved?• If it fails or succeeds in your estimation, can you point to specific remarks you noticed earlier in our criticism to emphasize your evaluation?
  94. 94. The Feldman Method
  95. 95. The Feldman Method• Description
  96. 96. The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis
  97. 97. The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis• Interpretation
  98. 98. The Feldman Method• Description• Analysis• Interpretation• Evaluation
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