Metacritique

In order to write our own critical articles we need, first of all, to have a look at already existing ones (written by people with lots of experience or by our fellow students), discuss and analyze them, and see the variety of different approaches to writing about art. This will help us in the process of learning about how to write a critical article and also to develop our personal styles.

Let’s draw our attention to the first example – an article called Positions #2 and written by Laura Herman for one of the most respected media companies working with art – Frieze. The article has a classical structure – it has an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs each describing a particular part of the exhibition, and conclusion, which is not separated but included into the last paragraph. All in all, I can say that the article is well-written. As for a native-speaker it was difficult for me to read it, but at the same time  rather interesting as I learned many new words which can be useful in future. The writer demonstrates us her knowledge in the field by making several references and using professional language. Maybe that’s why it was not very entertaining or engaging. Or maybe I personally was not very inspired by the exhibition described. Anyway, I consider this article a very good, quality example of a review article (where the writer describes every art piece at the exhibition one by one, giving precise descriptions and additional information without really analyzing them), but to my taste is was a little bit too long, too professional and too monotonous comparing with other two articles.

The second is written by Alex Greenberger for ArtNEWS magazine, a very well-known printed and on-line source about art. Though is is also a rather professional source, the article here is way shorter and its writing style is more relaxed. Consequently, it is easier to read it even though it is a critical article. The author gives us a background information about an artist and then describes and analyses his show. The language used is very rich and the writer also gives his readers lots of references, assuming that anyone who reads this article should have at least a basic knowledge in the field or to be curious enough to google stuff. Personally I liked this article way more and it even made me want to go and see the described exhibition with my own eyes.

The third article was my personal #1. It was written by Christian Kerr for the Hyperallergic forum, which is described on its own website as “a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today”. The article is accompanied with nice pictures (as well as other two, but in their case the pictures did not look very organic together with the texts). I should also mention here that I also liked the exhibition itself, that’s why maybe I consider this analytical review the best out of three. The article is balanced in terms of language, style and information. In is interesting to read, it engages the reader by its dynamic writing style and it fully describes and analyses the exhibition.

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