ART REVIEW CONTEMPORARY ART WRITING
In a recent post, critical contemporary art blog and forum Hyperallergic questions the relevance of the traditional art review and calls for a revamp of the format. Writer Hrag Vartanian looks at the history of art reviewing and suggests that this kind of reporting needs to reach out beyond its art world limitations.
I’m not saying that the literary form doesn’t still have life in it — and there are certainly some fantastic practitioners of the craft — but I do think it is an antiquated form, and the traditional art review (you know the type, it has a few photos and discusses an exhibition as a solitary experience) is better suited to group shows and surveys, maybe even thematic exhibitions, but it doesn’t work as successfully for solo shows, where it feels reduced to a sales vehicle for people trying to move merchandise.
An art review is read only by people in the art world, but the work of artists like Mark Lombardi go beyond aesthetic conversations and the fishbowl of the art world. He should’ve been on CNN during his time — or nowadays Al Jazeera — discussing these networks and his perspective on them. And Lombardi is not unique, there are other artists today, like William Powhida, who are trying to challenge the boundaries of the art ghetto and create conversations in other spheres of our culture.
Join the debate and tell us what you think about this challenge to the traditional art review. Does art criticism, as Hyperallergic suggests, need to extend into channels other than those in the contemporary art world? Leave a comment below.
- Think the art world has changed over the last 20 years? Statistics and facts – February 2011 – statistics show that the future of contemporary art is bound for a lot of changes
- New Taiwanese book focusses on personal connection with art – September 2010 – scholar records stories behind public art
- Will Youtube become a new platform for video art? Guggenheim experiments – July 2010 – Guggenheim attempts to engage with social media audiences
- Is China shooting a cultural missile at Taiwanese art? Taipei Times examines – April 2010 – more on China using “soft power” for political gain
- Chinese artist-run spaces rise up again? – May 2009 – Carol Linghua Yu writes on new trend in China
- Japanese contemporary art – changes and trends – by gallerist Koyanagi – March 2009 – take a look back at Japan art trends of 2009