Research exercise: Question 4 – The concept of style and the role of the art critic today

‘WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE TERM ‘STYLE’ AS APPLIED TO ART?’

I spent a little time thinking about this overnight and for me ‘style’ in art is the voice of the artist.  An artist of any realm spends time developing their own style and form of their art and when their style develops it creates that voice and lets the art form speak to those who see it.

When you look at a piece of work you see the work of an artist and even if 2 artists try to do exactly the same piece it will show individual differences that show each ‘style’ of the individual.  Style itself is an individual choice – the work of the Impressionists or the Old Masters or Surrealists show collective style but with each artist having their own differing individual styles i.e. one may choose a slightly different colour or even brush to another or chose to highlight differing areas.  Individual style is how you paint a face, sew a seam, create a sculpture or use your hands to create a beautiful ceramic form and whereby no two are the same as the influences on each person are different – style also depends on our world around us from the social and economic to the political and our emotions at the time of creating art that have been dependant on those factors.

Style is about how the artist has found he or she works best and found something that suits them in both passion and skill and often enables their work to create emotions in people who see it.

After reading the section on style I stand by my answer above but also understand that it also dictated by or influenced by the world in which we live and the materials that are available to artists along with in our modern world by the advances in a specialised field – for example an artist I have recently discovered is a cold glass sculpturer by the name of Jack Storms whose work relies on both specialised machinery for cutting and polishing and the quality of his materials as well as a specialised epoxy glue that is light refractive. Style is a combination of many different things but is also as individual and complex as the artist decides – some artists follow a style that is followed by many such as impressionists and some artists such as Gregoire A Meyer (a digital sculpturer) are very much individualists whose work instead influences other styles or artists.

The second part of the question is:  What is the role of the art critic today?

For this I read a variety of art reviews from The Times, The Independent and The Telegraph as well as discovering those online http://www.theartsdesk.com and http://artreview.com .  I fully admit it was a surprise how much I enjoyed reading and researching them firstly but feel this was because of this section I understood both their purpose and my growing knowledge of the History of Art and the understanding of the different political, economic and social factors that are part of art.

I state the above paragraph because my first thoughts had not been favourable towards art critics but when you start to understand art properly and in depth it changes your perception of critics and also can fully understand their role.  For me personally at this point their role is that of a teacher in many ways but one who  not only teaches but informs in a specialised and in depth manner. If you are going to an exhibition an art critic and review can be useful beforehand as it gives you both an overview and knowledge about it that enables you to get the most benefit and enjoyment.  Their role is to be able to tell the reader in a review about aspects of the artists that you may not be aware of and that have an impact on the work of the artist – for example whether there are any political, economic or social factors that are prime influences or the materials and techniques that are used.

Another role is that an art critic is effectively a historian stating art history as it is happening – by reviewing an exhibition or artist they are making a statement or giving views that are very much to do with the era in which they write and influenced by the world around them at the time.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Please note I am writing this after the end of the course as I review my blogs in preparation for assessment and have discovered some blogs in which I had not correctly noted my references down.  I had yet to learn how to use the Harvard Referencing system and where possible I have updated the blogs but in some cases such as this I can only refer to the blog named BIBLIOGRAPHY in my Research and Reference section for a general list of sites were used during this first part of the course.

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