How Do You Critique Art?


Quick Answer

Critiquing art involves analyzing the planning and construction of a work, its primary points of emphasis, relationships among subjects, how the work relates to current events and to other works, the originality of the work, aesthetics, the ideas represented, and the feelings it elicits in viewers. Elements involved in the critique depend on the type of art reviewed. For example, botanical art is often judged on accuracy, lighting and composition.

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Full Answer

Judging art can be highly subjective, especially when the subject is abstract and not meant to depict subjects in a photorealistic manner. Some critics judge art based on whether it represents an original idea or is derivative of another artist's work. Even when a work is clearly based on the work of another artist, it can be considered fresh and new if it is satirical or presents the same ideas from another point of view.

Opinions about art often change over time. Critics from past eras are sometimes ridiculed by modern critics for dismissing artists now thought of as groundbreaking and highly talented. Some movements in the field of art were disparaged during their time and were praised later. For example, cubism, originating in the early 1900s, is now considered to be among the most influential art movements of the 20th century. In its time, however, cubism was criticized for its oddness.

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