May 20, 2005

BLOGS | Art Criticism

A Google search of the words 'art criticism blogs' reveals, as you would expect, that there is much online discussion about blogging and art criticism/writing. Some very interesting, challenging and valuable ideas are floating around about the impact of blogs on arts writing and publishing (also related to questions of marketing and profiling). Worth noting some of them here ...

Caryn Coleman, The art weblog
"Ultimately, what art blogs will do is provide more information to readers and give more credibility to artists, galleries, and museums. Art blogs will become known for exposing new talents to the world with a critical eye who otherwise may go unnoticed. They will question and explore happenings that major publications may never go near; and they’ll address them first."

JT Kirkland, 'State of the Art (Blogging)', in DCist
points out that art criticism is undergoing a 'major revolution' - "What this all boils down to is that while traditional criticism may be losing its power to affect change, its power to bring attention to the arts and introduce artists and experiences to a broad audience still exists. The rise of so many blogs suggests that something is missing in our cultural landscape and that individuals are rising to solve the problems."

Tyler Green, Modern Art Notes, In NYFA he writes,
"Blogs haven't (yet) changed anything about how art criticism is written. Jerry Saltz, for example, still covers art in New York City for the Village Voice just as he did a year ago. And bloggers are more art observers than critics; they mostly write about their favorite shows in and around their towns or they talk about gallery openings they've attended. (And, of course, they tell us how much they drank at those openings.) This isn’t meant to imply that blogs aren't players in art criticism. Here's where blogs have an impact: The local art critic is no longer just local. Blogs have proven to be outstanding at making sure good art writing, even if it's hidden in a Denver alt-weekly, is read nationwide. Every art critic has become a national art critic. Before blogs, who in New York read Washington Post critic Blake Gopnik? Who in Boston paid attention to what Kenneth Baker was writing in the San Francisco Chronicle?"

A blogged report on the 'artLA panel on art criticism'.
Said Christopher Miles, "onetime I wrote a piece on and within minutes had a slew of comments about the words I was using. The comments online allow things to go their own direction and you don't have as much control. It's more free form. There used to be, as a writer, that you'd know the audience, and now you don't know who might see it."