Art Essay on Critics and Historians

Essay by bogann May 2007

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

How do art critics and art historians shape our understanding of art?The creative process involved in making a piece of art or selection of artworks, is unique, differing and complex in that it changes according to the artists personal tastes, social or external influences and even their socio-economic status. Thus, for an audience to view an artwork and be able to relate or truly understand this complexity and the 'genes' of the artwork, certain amounts of background information needs to be acquired, whether it be from the artist themselves, the local newspaper or the art history books. This is where art critics and art historians place themselves amidst the conceptual framework, as a point of reference, and more importantly influence to the art-world and global audiences of art. Their communication of ideas, research and acquired knowledge has the ability to shape our perspectives, and give relevant insights into areas of art as a subject matter, that we may have previously overlooked or been unaware of.

A critic's review can be the determining factor in whether an exhibition receives great success or not, as the techniques them employ in their writing is candid and direct in deliverance.

Contemporary art critics are no longer restrained by a conventional and rigid society, and therefore tend to express themselves and their opinions in a far more vivid and expressive way. However, they are not necessarily required to simply judge art and present their findings - but they are also able to persuade or deliver and debatable product that argues, emphasizes and reiterates its statements and position, by backing it up with quotes, references, facts and examples that essentially confronts and commits to its readers. The piece by Sebastian Smee, "Rooms for Improvement" is a chief example of a critics review, giving a blatantly opinionated...