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Lesson Plans

Re: Skoglund on ArtsEdNet-Reply (Criticism)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Sat, 03 Feb 1996 07:11:02 -0700 (MST)

Criticism, interpretation, and judgement are all related and rely on
aesthetic distinction the ability to distinguish empirical sensual
qualities of difference. It seems to me that, in the arts, criticism
represents such an act of distinction. The distinction demands (I think)
an explanation or interpretation which appears to be largely theoretical;
perhaps less so for the "how" than for the "why" or the "meaning".
Finally, with this information and theory assembled we can (maybe) begin
to seek the value of what we have distinguished -- to evaluate or judge
that value in terms of a context (usually, and perhaps most accurately, our



> >When Sydney Walker and I use the term "criticism" we mean thoughtful
> >verbal responses to works of art. As Nancy Walkup suggests, we do
> >stress interpretation. Criticism, however, can and often does entail
> >judgments. When critical judgments are offered they should have an
> >appraisal of worth based on reasons which are grounded in criteria.
> >As an art educator, I think interpretations are more important than
> >judgments. Judgments without interpretations are irresponsible and
> >irresponsive. As a teacher I can elicit positive judgments by asking
> >"How is this work of art good?"
On Fri, 2 Feb 1996, Scott Walters wrote:
> Yes, although we also need to teach our kids to learn from criticism that
> isn't positive. Young artists need to develop a separation between their
> selves and their work, so that they can find useable information in all
> responses to their work. In many respects, the negative responses can be
> more helpful than the positive. There is always room for improvement, and
> artists who can't accept negative criticism, by implication seem to believe
> that their art is perfect and cannot be improved. There is no room for
> development there. The key, as you note, is to make the criteria clear, so
> there is a context for the response. If I am valuing art because the
> object represented closely resembles the actual object, and as an artist
> you are not ATTEMPTING to do a realistic portrayal of the object, then your
> comments are not particularly useful. But if I am trying to realistic
> portrayal, your comments are valuable, and I should get my ego out of the
> way so that I can hear what you are saying. We must insist on craft as
> well as good intentions -- our artists must master their craft as a means
> of expressing their artistry. Criticism is part of that process.
> College of Fine Arts
> Illinois State University
> Normal IL 61790