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 • What is seen in the artwork? • How is the artwork designed? • What does it mean? • Is it a successful work of art?
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 Approach Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1936.
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 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 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 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 • 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) Andrew Wyeth, Master Bedroom, 1946
Emotionalism Jacob Lawrence, Confrontation on The Bridge, 1975
Theories of Art • The critic may use more than one theory.
Nonobjective Art • Any artwork that contains no apparent reference to reality. Stuart Davis, Swing Landscape, 1938.
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.