To get started thinking about critique this semester watch the video above of a critique in in undergraduate painting class at Cooper Union. Think about how you would like to show up for critique this semester, with your own work and in response to work made by others.  What do you hope to contribute?  What do you hope to learn?

Share your thought in the comments below.

Critique
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12 thoughts on “Critique

  • January 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm
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    I hope to come to critique with an array of honesty and curiosity. I think the coolest part about art is the contrast between viewers’ reactions and artists’ intent. I intend to learn more regarding the motives behind my peer’s creation and respond with whether or not I grasped that same message.

    I also am looking for genuine constructive criticism. I know this is a common goal for most heading into critique however, there is no doubt that we all restrain from fluid conversation. I put a lot of meaning into my work and hope to hear feedback on people’s opinion both on the topic of choice, and my personal depiction

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    • January 26, 2017 at 6:48 pm
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      I like the goals of “genuine constructive criticism” and “fluid conversation”. One thing we all might try as artists is framing the discussion about our work with a statement like, ” I’m really looking for constructive criticism today. I’m not sure if this area of the piece is working. Tell me what you really think.” This might help remove some of the restraint you mention b/c the artist is specifically requesting a certain kind of feedback.

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  • January 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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    For me, I think I have to push myself more to speak and not be concerned with the fact that what I’m saying contains in depth meaning. By simply starting to talk, you get the ball rolling and you can explore themes and criticism with others in the group. Yes I should make comments that pertain to the discussed piece, but it should be about how the piece affects me, it doesn’t have to be the perfect definition about the meaning of the piece.
    I think it’s also important that I have questions for my peers. I shouldn’t be afraid of what they have to say because their comments and advise are very helpful to future work. I need to be open to getting out of my comfort zone.

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    • January 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm
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      “By simply starting to talk, you get the ball rolling and you can explore themes and criticism with others in the group.”

      So true! Just diving into the conversation is a great place to start. Casual observations can lead to really interesting discussions.

      Reply
  • January 29, 2017 at 10:34 pm
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    What I hope to contribute to critique is what I have always aimed to contribute in previous critiques: giving my honest opinion of the piece based on what I see. I think honesty is really important in a critique because it allows for reflection and growth on the part of the artist, an opportunity which doesn’t exist when an honest opinion isn’t given. That being said, there’s a difference between honesty and brutal honesty. Brutal honesty can frighten someone off of every trying anything risky again. The honesty that I strive to give focuses on what’s working in the piece, what the artist is bringing to the table that is unique and inspiring, while also acknowledging what has room for improvement.

    I invite and truly hope for this same honesty when it comes to getting my work critiqued. I often think that we can’t see our own strengths in a piece, and only outside observation can reveal them to us. I hope to learn how my work is being received in other minds than my own, because often, my internal assessment of my work is much different than the external.

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    • January 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm
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      “my internal assessment of my work is much different than the external”

      It’s always interesting to see what happens when a work of art leaves the studio and engages audience, be it in critique, a gallery or elsewhere. The artist decides what to take from critique–what feedback makes sense for the work and what we’d rather pass on. I always notice where my points of resistance are. Sometimes they reveal things I don’t want to change because they are at the root of my goal for the piece. More frequently they are things that, if changed, would really improve the work.

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  • January 30, 2017 at 1:27 am
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    I want to be able to come to critique with good solid feedback for the artist. I think the best way to do this is by looking at the artist’s work while they are still working on it. This way I can see the process that they are going through in their work and it also gives me time to think about what I want to say about it during critique.

    I enjoy hearing how people react to my artwork and what they have to say about my work. I think it also would be helpful to write down what I want to talk about before critique so I know ahead of time what I want to talk about or bring up points that weren’t discussed during the critique.

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    • January 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm
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      This is one of the wonderful things about being in a shared studio environment. We can reflect on others’ work over time and watch to process unfold. In addition to formal critique, impromptu working critiques can happen in the studio.

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  • January 31, 2017 at 3:37 am
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    This was a very interesting video! What I noticed is that, in comparison to critiques I’ve been a part of in the past, is that they were using pretty large, and specific terminology to describe the painting. It was also like and ongoing conversation, rather than a group going around and sharing thoughts one by one.

    I hope to enter critiques with an open mind; so that I can learn other people’s perspectives on my pieces that I may not have thought of before hand. I would like to become prepared to share a short statement of my piece, and make sure to see what others in the studio are doing in order to get my thoughts straightened out beforehand to be able to give authentic and constructive feedback. Just like everyone in our class, I hope to make more compelling artwork and grow in my skills as an artist – as well as how to communicate more effectively.

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    • January 31, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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      …”they were using pretty large, and specific terminology to describe the painting. It was also like an ongoing conversation…” I, too, like when the conversation flows organically. Let’s all think about ways to help facilitate that during critique this semester.

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  • February 8, 2017 at 5:16 am
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    Yeah, I definitely prefer and actually enjoy critiques that are real discussion and have that flow. Sometimes I am in critiques where no one wants to say anything or can’t think of anything to say. Or when they do, its just one person’s thoughts then the next with no real relation or response. Those critiques are painful, whereas critiques where discussions flow actually feel very constructive (in my experience).

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  • February 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm
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    In our critiques, I hope to be able to contribute my own sense of artistic thoughts and ideas with everyone on their pieces and be able to do the same with their ideas and thoughts about my work. I think last semester I really started to get a good flow of feedback and to really participate as much as possible without repeating what others thoughts were. In return I hope to receive the same sort of feedback and critique and to maybe learn how to better incorporate the classes feedback into my own work.

    Reply

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