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Art Criticism and Aesthetics. Chapter 4. Art Criticism: Aesthetic Qualities. Art critics search for aesthetic qualities that can increase their understanding of the works and serve as the criteria on which their judgments are based. Juan Gris, Violin-Guitar,1913. Art Criticism Approach.

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art criticism aesthetic qualities
Art Criticism: Aesthetic Qualities
  • Art critics search for aesthetic qualities that can increase their understanding of the works and serve as the criteria on which their judgments are based.

Juan Gris, Violin-Guitar,1913

art criticism approach
Art Criticism Approach
  • What is seen in the artwork?
  • How is the artwork designed?
  • What does it mean?
  • Is it a successful work of art?
art criticism approach4
Art Criticism Approach
  • Description: Inventory of everything they see in the work. The literal qualities, or realistic presentation of subject matter, and the elements of art found in the work.
  • Identify the elements of art present in the work.
art criticism approach5
Art Criticism Approach

Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1936.

art criticism approach6
Art Criticism Approach
  • Analysis: Using the principles of art to determine how the elements of art used in the picture are organized.
  • Design qualities: how well the work is organized, or put together.
art criticism approach9
Art Criticism Approach
  • Interpretation: Identifying the expressive qualities of meaning of the work based on his/her description and analysis of the work.

Andy Goldsworthy, Roof, 2005.

art criticism approach10
Art Criticism Approach
  • Judgment: Making a judgment and defending it depends on the theory or theories of art the critic favors.

Jasper Johns, Flags, 1968. Color Lithograph.

aesthetics and art criticism
Aesthetics and Art Criticism
  • Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy concerned with identifying the clues within artworks that can be used to understand, judge, and defend judgments about those works.
theories of art
Theories of Art
  • Imitationalism (realism): Realistic presentation of subject matter. Reminds viewers of what can be seen in the real world.
  • Formalism: depends on the design qualities or the way it is organized.
  • Emotionalism: The artwork communicates an emotion or idea to the viewer.
imitationalism realism
Imitationalism (Realism)

Andrew Wyeth,

Master Bedroom,



Jacob Lawrence,

Confrontation on The Bridge,


theories of art15
Theories of Art
  • The critic may use more than one theory.
nonobjective art
Nonobjective Art
  • Any artwork that contains no apparent reference to reality.

Stuart Davis, Swing Landscape, 1938.

art criticism operations and architecture
Art Criticism Operations and Architecture
  • You can use art criticism the same way with architecture: Identify, Analyze, Interpret, and Judge.

Stuart Davis, Hot Stillscape For Six Colors Seventh Avenue Style, 1940.