Is it significant? Will it sell?

Last week we discussed the debated existence of a crisis within the art world, or rather the art criticism world. We read JJ Charlesworth’s article that claimed that the crisis in art criticism lies in the lack of negative criticism in recent years. He believes that the latest generation of art critics have a deep rooted fear of conflict and therefore are apprehensive to write truly critical reviews that discuss the cultural and historical significance of the work.

For me, Charlesworth’s argument was affirmed after reading some of Christina Rees’ work on Glasstire. She made some claims that were very similar to Charlesworth’s but ties them into a local context by writing about art criticism within Texas and its own problems.

Together, these readings tell me that there is a void in the art criticism world. A void that yearns to be filled by strong critical art writing that finds the cultural or historical significance within a work, or can be bold enough to say that there is nothing significant about that work.

We also discussed arts relationship to commerce after hearing Debra Barrera and Jonathan Hopson speak about their personal experiences within the art world and how to navigate the financial side of art. With no experience in that realm, I was incredibly interested to hear about that struggle and how artists survive financially and practice their art independently. I was left wondering if art critics/curators are in the same boat as Debra and Jonathan, working a normal job during the day in order to practice art and curate exhibits with creative freedom with no dependence on the financial success of each work.




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