Art Criticism ARH467/567

Fall 2017

Final paper of some length (not egregiously long, five pages maximum, but longer than your bi-weekly reviews) about the current state of contemporary art (as seen at MASSMoCA and ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WANT TO EXPLORE)

DUE THURSDAY December 14 at midnight by email unless you write me specifically!!

This should be an independent paper, not a review, but it should have your independent voice. It’s not a research paper, but a comment and analysis from your own perspective on what the art scene is all about now.

This should stand on its own, as if publishable in an arts or culture journal. That is, make some observations about art.

Here are some thinking points. You can’t say everything. Decide what is MOST important: salient in 2018. And from your own viewpoint.


--Contemporary art museums and galleries (they will have the latest trends)

--What about public art...intersecting with real world (Breathing Lights, Banksy...0

--Instagram, and artists on social media (some only post on social media but others are established artists)


--Photography, sculpture, painting, installations (including light and on-site), etc.



--Fine art defined by the audience (high/low art) and context

--Defined by the institution


--Commercialization of the product (art as business)

--Verisimilitude in art

--Materials, materiality

--Originality or lack of same

--Culture and cultural expression (from outside and inside)

--Responsibility--the artist as a component of a commentary that has bearing on real lives

LINK to all those galleries (tip of iceberg)

Shows to possibly include in your thoughts are the Abstraction show, Kiefer (in a separate building), and the show called Mothership upstairs from the Turrell. For the sake of our purposes, don’t talk in depth about Turrell again in your final paper. Due Dec 14 by email.

AND THE CURATING CLASS HAS SEATS FOR SPRING!!! please sign up if you are even can always drop it later.

(click for info) permission numbers freely available

Here is a comment on writing that might very much apply to the final paper and elsewhere:

Generalities and not...


Some misc readings for fun--sorry there are so many. Or not sorry! This is a writing and reading class. But all optional.

Interesting (mainstream) take on “new” art (using almost new media):

Note the above is aimed at a general educated audience, and that it sneaks in the PR info in the first graf, then uses a few nice phrases. (Roberta Smith is not noted for inventive writing, but is dependable, at least.)

And a piece by Holland Carter about globalization in art:

and a little more on Raad (illustrated in the article):

and Mohamedi at her gallery:


New magazine on/for art criticism:


for later: