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Last Updated: Mar 8, 2012 URL: http://getlibraryhelp.highlands.edu/artappreciationBarrF2011 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Project Assignment

Description for: Information Competency Project

Art criticism is based largely on opinion. It is often up to the reader to determine if that opinion is a useful one or not. Does the writer know the subject matter? Is the writing or criticism obviously biased or slanted? What criteria does the critic use to evaluate a work of art? Is the critic able to describe the shortcomings of the work and make suggestions for improvement? Is the language used emotional rather than based on observation? If the review cites or links to sources as points of reference, are these sources reliable and objective? These are questions that may help to determine whether or not a piece of critical writing is effective and justifiable. One key to effective criticism is objectivity, which can be defined as:


1.the ability to perceive or describe something without being influenced by personal emotions or prejudices


2. accuracy: the fact or quality of being accurate, unbiased, and independent of individual perceptions


Some criticism is more objective than others.  Your assignment is to find two art reviews or pieces of art criticism- one that is largely factual, unbiased and objective, and another one that is more biased and opinionated while lacking in objectivity.  You can pull from print sources, newspapers, books, magazines, or from the web.  This is a judgment call on your part.  You are being asked to critique the critic, and to evaluate the creative work of another based on the sometimes-slippery quality of objectivity.

     For each of the two selections, give specific reasons why each might be characterized as objective or non-objective.  Be as detailed in your analysis as possible.  It’s not necessary to be familiar with the artwork being discussed or to agree with the opinions being stated within the review or criticism- only to evaluate the language being used and the objectivity of the criticism.   Include a copy of each of the criticisms discussed along with your analyses. 


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