Critics, thinkers and historians

Question/Task on p38

“Read some reviews of exhibitions or articles about art in the newspaper or in a magazine. What is the role of the art critic today?”

Article: Why are there no great British nativity scenes?

Review: Goya: The Portraits at the National Gallery is the show of the decade

Review: Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, British Museum, review: ‘a missed opportunity’

Short Review: Exhibition of the week

It seems from these reviews (and others I’ve read) that the role of the critic today is mainly that of exhibition promoter. Even when they dislike a show they write the review in such a way as makes you wish to go and see for yourself if you agree with them. They provide a background and context for the show they are reviewing and a description of what you will see when you get there.

When they do write a piece which is not a review for something specific (such as the first link above) they can be quite entertaining. The article is explaining why there are no nativity scenes painted by British artists.

“Throughout its history, British art has been drawn to raw reality. From Hogarth to Tracey Emin, the genius of British art is to tell it like it is. The nativity is a magical story, a vision, a moment of revelation. In art, that happens far from British shores.”

Source: (Jonathan Jones, 2015a)

 

References (retrospective list):

Hudson, M. (2015) ‘Goya: The Portraits at the National Gallery is the show of the decade’ In: The Telegraph [online] At: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/art/what-to-see/goyas-portraits-national-gallery-review/
(Accessed on 24 December 15)

Jones, J. (2015a) ‘Why are there no great British nativity scenes?’ In: The Guardian [online] At: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/dec/22/why-are-there-no-great-british-nativity-scenes
(Accessed on 24 December 15)

Jones, J. (2015b) ‘Shia LaBeouf, Quentin Blake and a grenade in the Turner prize – the week in art’ In: The Guardian [online] At: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/dec/11/shia-labeouf-quentin-blake-grenade-turner-prize-assemble-week-in-art
(Accessed on 24 December 15)

Smart, A. (2015) ‘Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, British Museum, review: ‘a missed opportunity” In: The Telegraph [online] At: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/art/what-to-see/defining-beauty-the-body-in-ancient-greek-art-british-museum-review-a-missed-opportunity/
(Accessed on 24 December 15)

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