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Art critics. Are they your allies or your ennemies?



The necessity of artspeak: the language of arts in the Western tradition

The necessity of artspeak: the language of arts in the Western tradition

Author: Roy Harris
Publisher: London, Continuum, 2003
ISBN: 0-8264-6079-8



Why you should read 'The Necessity of Artspeak'

Art critics and theorists are often called upon by art galleries and art institutions to add their judgement. No doubt, critics are considered to be the makers and breakers of talents and careers. In parallel art theorists have influenced for centuries the perception of the arts and what art is.

Yet, if we match their writings, theories and complexities with the daily gallery practice, it is as if these art professionals live in a world apart governed by their own idiom. By trying to serve the arts with their writings, they surely have conquered a secure place in the art world. And they continue to do so by coming up constantly with new definitions, theories, insights.


Allies or ennemies?

How is it possible that even the most erudite art enthusiasts, the most experienced gallery owners are so willing to accept what these art professionals almost force them to adopt? Why are their writings so influencial that art enthusiasts and professionals alike continue to be taken in by yet another furore, new definitions or a latest trend ?

'The Necessity of Artspeak' explains (or reveals?) who these art professionals really are and where their profession comes from by retracing their history and evolution. Starting with the philosophers, through the art critics and lately the curators this book tells a fascinating history of a group justifying its existence in the art world as a profession on its own since centuries.

But what makes this book really noteworthy is its focus on the issue by excellence with art speak and art critic: the linguistic assumptions that are at the origine of the genre since the classical period in ancient Greece.

And it truly is a real eye opener to read how the goals of art critics and theorists aren't always as "high hearted" as most art enthusiasts tend to believe.


Feel welcome to comment on any of the books above, ask or suggest any additional information.



P.S. Don't need summaries or critiques and eager to decide on more interesting reads yourself?







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Luuk Christiaens