Understanding Critique

Rantings and Ravings

Since it’s something that’s going to be a focus of my writing here, I think we ought to take a moment to discuss critique. In the world of education in the arts, the dreaded crit is well feared, but respected for its importance in helping shape and sharpen creative minds. In art history, critique is the life-blood and language of all discussion. Art critique is about dissecting and analyzing an inherently nebulous thing – art – in an effort to understand it and ourselves, both as artists and viewers, better. By scrutinizing minute details, contrasting it with other pieces, digging into the reasoning of unconscious decisions, studying the context of the piece’s period and the history of its life, etc. we, as critics, attempt to get an idea of how art works. At the same time, we, as artists, attempt to utilize that knowledge to strengthen our own work. And so, the dialogue between artists and critics continues through art.