The Art of Art is designed to be your guide to contemporary art, and to help you get the most out of experiencing it. We will provide you with a basic understanding of the visual arts, and give you the tools you need to navigate a contemporary museum or gallery visit.
We’ll cover all major artists and movements, from Abstract Expressionism to Zaha Hadid; from Minimalism to Conceptual Art. You’ll learn about the history of art, what makes a work a masterpiece, and how the fine arts relate to other creative fields (architecture, film, literature, music). And we won’t just tell you about art – we’ll show you how it works. Our contributors are practicing artists and critics who know what they’re talking about.
We’ll also keep you up to date on important developments in the world of art; suggest works that might interest you; host live events; and much more.
Whether your interest is in fine art or popular culture, The Art of Art has something for everyone.
This is the story of my art education, in which I come to understand that:
1. Art history is the study of art criticism.
2. Art appreciation is learned by looking at lots of art.
3. When you look at a lot of art, you begin to develop a sense for what you like and dislike, and for what you think makes a work good or bad, regardless of what anyone else might say about it.
4. The only way to learn to see in this way is to look at a lot of art – first: bad art (so you can learn to identify poor technique) and then: lots of different schools and styles (so you can see how they differ).
5. Once you have an eye for this sort of thing, there’s nothing that anyone could tell you about any given work that would change your opinion. You will be able to make up your own mind about it.
One of the most important things to understand about art is that it is not a collection of objects. It is a process. That process does not end with the artist, it extends to each viewer.
The purpose of art criticism is to help viewers understand how the process works so they can experience it firsthand and increase its impact on their lives.
Art appreciation involves recognizing what has been accomplished in an artwork and enjoying it without having to understand how it was done.
You don’t need to know how Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling or why Picasso chose to depict Guernica in a particular style or why Andy Warhol made Campbell’s soup cans into art in order to enjoy what they did and appreciate their accomplishments. But if you do want that knowledge, art criticism will provide it for you.
I’m not saying there’s no value in appreciating a piece of artwork without knowing how it was created or what it means. I’m saying that those things are better understood by understanding the context and history of art, and acknowledging that everything we see today has evolved over time.”
Art is a subjective experience. What we like, and why, can be hard to explain. If an artist makes a piece of art that you don’t like, does that mean he’s bad? Did he make a mistake? Or were you not “ready” for the work–and if so, how do you get ready for it?
This is what makes art criticism such an inexact science. It can be valuable, but it’s hard to accept criticism well. Sometimes the best response to a critic is: “You just don’t get it.” And sometimes that’s true.
Art critics have their own struggles with this subjectivity. Critics are trained to cut away what they see as excess in order to isolate the “heart of the matter.” They do this not only because it enhances their ability to write about art but also because they believe it helps them connect with art on a more profound level. Sometimes this leads critics to value clarity and simplicity above all else. But what happens when the artist rejects this approach? Work evolves over time; so does taste; and so does criticism. The connection between artist and critic can become tenuous or even non-existent as a piece matures.
How can we reconcile these two approaches? What does it mean for
The purpose of art is to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. The purpose of art education is to teach the viewer how to perceive and understand the emotional appeal of a work.
That’s why I started my blog. I wanted to discuss art with other people, and find out what it is that makes some works of art work for some people, but not others.
As a professional artist and art educator, I’ve been thinking about art for years, and I want to share with you my experience on how to appreciate and understand its appeal.
I’ll share with you what I do as an artist and an art educator, hoping that you’ll find something new and interesting in the process.
I will be exploring ideas related to what makes a work of visual art appealing or appealing to a particular viewer.”
Art is important. We need art. Not just because it’s beautiful, though that’s reason enough to value it highly, but because art helps us to be more fully human and more connected to one another. Art makes us smarter and happier. And the arts help us develop and express our creativity.
This blog is a way for me to share with you some of the ways I think about art and share my love of the arts with you. I will try not to teach you too much about art history or art appreciation, but rather help you think about art in new ways and discover your own way through the arts — whether you’re an artist or an audience member.
I find the article interesting not so much for what it says about art, but for what it reveals about the art critic.
The author is not a bad writer and clearly knows something about art. He has some interesting things to say, and he gets them said in a clear and readable style. But I’ve never seen a more perfect example of how you really can write well enough to say nothing at all.
Towards the beginning of the article, he tells us that formalism looks at art “in terms of its form or content, which is to say, what the work is made of (or on), and the way it’s made.” Then he goes on to tell us some things about form, including an interesting observation about color in Mondrian’s paintings that I hadn’t thought of before. Then he goes on to tell us some things about content.
He tells us that formalism asks “what does this painting mean?” The answer is “probably nothing.” That seems like an obvious point until one thinks about how few people ever think about it. But it’s still true; most paintings are not trying to communicate anything specific beyond an attitude towards life or a response to beauty or perhaps an idea about composition or color harmony.
“It just is