04w31:1 Art Criticism Part 1

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 31 number 1 (art criticism Pt 1)

Being a regular reader of Sally McKay’s and Jennifer McMackon’s blogs, I’ve become entangled in a discussion and questioning of contemporary art criticism. I’ve tried to sort out the postings below, but keep in mind that the comments section of each contains more material. Along the way, Jerry Saltz pops up, who offers insight into his role as a critic in an article from two years ago. Part 2 will consist of the links to his articles, plus another related article on the need for more ‘bad reviews’ of books. – Timothy


James Elkins on Our Moribund Critical Discourse | Dan Hopewell
“I recently digested SAIC art history smarty James Elkins’ What Happened to Art Criticism? from Prickly Paradigm Press, a problematic and at times messy essay (but one that is also thought provoking and often dead right). Of particular interest to me was Elkins’ refutation of several proposed solutions to contemporary art criticism’s woes”. Followups here and here.

What Happened to Art Criticism? | Timothy Quigley
“Dan Hopewell over at Iconoduel has a review of James Elkins’ book, What Happened to Art Criticism?. Elkins surveys the contemporary state of art criticism and examines the prospects for developing a new approach. If I read the review correctly, it sounds as if he dismisses any attempts to build on past critical traditions as hopelessly ‘nostalgic’. If that’s the case, it’s an unfortunate and untenable position”. Followup here.

simpleposie question for the day #129 | Jennifer McMackon
“…is prompted by a post that appeared the other day on Sally McKay’s blog with reference to a post by Dan at Iconoduel on the subject of a chapbook by James Elkins called ‘What Happened to Art Criticism’. I took umbrage with Sally for intimating that the commentary on Iconoduel (which initially consisted largely of quotations by Elkins himself but which has admirably since been readdressed) might suffice in lieu of reading Elkin’s 85 page (slimmer than the Communist Manifesto) text – and also for the suggestion that source material is no longer of interest to jaded readers of art criticism.”

Who’d have thought art criticism was such a hot topic? | Sally McKay
“Who’d have thought art criticism was such a hot topic? The old-style stuff was moldy and dry, the new-style stuff is either glib and undemanding, or esoteric and niche. Interesting that so many of us (myself included) seem to care about it with some sort of passion. A few months ago this blog saw a glut of posts, spurred by a panel discussion in Toronto about whether or not criticism is irrelevant. A few days ago a really good post appeared at Iconoduel, a report on James Elkins’ essay What Happened to Art Criticism? Iconoduel is a very interesting art blog from Chicago, written with insight and clarity by ‘Dan,’ who seems to have a cool and solid head on his shoulders. Read his post on Elkins (and then, like I’m thinking, you might not have to read Elkins!*).” Follow up here.

Resisting the Dangerous Journey: The Crisis in Journalistic Criticism | Michael Brenson
“In the last few years this unofficial conspiracy of silence among critics about other critics has damaged the profession. It is not based on mutual respect and support but on self-protectiveness and laziness. It has discouraged an essential discussion of the responsibilities of critics to face issues, including the issue of criticism, and the consequences of not facing them. I believe that art criticism is failing miserably to meet the challenges of this time, and that art and artists, and indeed the artistic culture of this country, are suffering as a result. American art, artists and art institutions are struggling, and because so few critics have been willing to participate in this struggle and examine their role in its development and outcome, art criticism, as a whole, is in trouble.”

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 27 July 2004 @ 10:09 PM

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