Art critique is a very significant part of an art world, because it helps us think about the intentions of artists and their impact on the critics and audience as such. It is important to observe certain artworks and also to learn what others think about it. The comparison between our opinions and the opinions of other people, whether critics or not, can be the way how to have the intensive experience of art.
The first article that we should look at is called Positions #2 by Laura Herman. This article can be found on Frieze, which deals with the contemporary art and culture. It is not very long and its five paragraphs are trying to describe the exhibition from Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands. The author offers us sufficient information about the exhibition, but it is important how she does it. At first, we can notice, that we do not have the information about the gallery itself, so we can just guess what this institution is focused on.
The author emphasizes the curator, who seems to be very important. However, we at first read about the overall topic when we learn that the artists are interested “in the relationship between art, art history and current political events.” So what should we expect? This relationship is then revealed gradually when Laura Herman describes the first artist and the beginning of the exhibition. She delineates how the work is installed, how it looks like in a room and what is the idea behind it.
Herman points out that one topic can be represented by the different approaches and she also enriches the facts about the exhibition by new information like the year of events that are depicted in the artworks or the information about artists from the previous age. Then she concludes with description of the exhibition’s atmosphere, however there is no subjective opinion and therefore we can consider this article more like a review, than a critique.
Positions #2 still lasts and hence Laura Herman could not reveal everything so perhaps that is why she used only four photos. However, she could definitely use more catchy photos. Van Abbemuseum offers also the artists’ discussions and valuable information that can invite us to see the exhibition.
Another article that is worth to read is a review by Alex Greenberger which is called Liam Gillick at Casey Kaplan. The article is from Artnews so it makes us think that it should be more journalistic or serious submission of information. The name of the writer kind of reminds us of one of the most famous art critics Clement Greenberg, so maybe here we can find the author’s inspirations.
Firstly, we read about the artist, who is mentioned right within the title. However, the title does not contain the name of the exhibition and we learn it later. This article is very short, but it is enough for understanding the main points of the exhibition. When Greenberger describes the works, he does not offer more possibilities for understanding them and then he admits it is difficult to follow it. He does not focus on individual artworks, but he looks at them like a one unit.
Alex Greenberger regards Liam Gillick’s art as something that others can learn from, but he does not bring the new information into this article. He used only two pictures, but they sufficiently represent what we will see if we will visit Casey Kaplan.
The last article which nicely shows the important aspects of art critique is Taryn Simon Mines the Empty Aesthetics of Diplomacy by Christian N. Kerr. From these three articles, it is the longest one and it also contains a lot of pictures.
It is written in a philosophical way and it lets us penetrate into the mind of the artist, and also the mind of the article’s author. It is evident, that he enjoyed the writing of this text, because it is not just the pragmatic research of the main facts, but it is the way of critique that makes the artwork from this article as well.
At first, Christian N. Kerr extends the general knowledge with introductory style and it leads us to the artist herself. Kerr describes the exhibition in detail without revealing what the works mean. He just introduces the visual side and placement of the works.
The title of this article causes our desire to click on it and it suggests that there is a very interesting theme that Kerr wants to explain further. He is trying to point out that there is a presence of politics and if we are reading between the lines, we can come up to the opinions of this critic as well.
He finishes this article with overall feeling of the exhibition and hence we can find out how the artworks influence certain types of people. Kerr does not want only to go to look at the exhibition and enjoy it, but he also wants us to enjoy the article itself.
This exhibition and mainly the author is found very interesting also by the different spheres like for instance fashion. Taryn Simon became an object for the sense of femininity and politics which is represented and praised by the lifestyle magazine Vogue. Comparing to Kerr’s article, the Vogue’s content is oriented towards the woman and her existence in society that is depicted in the exhibition at Gagosian Gallery.
And what do you criticize about the critique?