Everyone’s A Critic

Art Critics

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An assignment I give my Fine Arts students at Pratt Institute is to pick ten artists or works-of-art that (a) they don’t like or (b) don’t understand, and then speak to the qualities that leave them wanting.

The exercise is intended to explore, articulate and, hopefully, strengthen their aesthetic identities. Regular offenders on these hit-lists include Duchamp and his progeny (Warhol, Koons, Banksy, etc.), geometric abstraction, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and, oddly, Gauguin. This semester a student asked just who and what would I include on a docket of “crimes against art”?

As a longtime fan of lists, I couldn’t resist putting something together. So, here, in no particular order, is my Ten Most Wanted List–or do I mean “Least Wanted”?

Baldessari

John Baldessari: Mistaking cleverness for profundity and encouraging a generation (or three) of students of the same–only to do it with a greater degree of smugness.

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        Johns FlagTR14473

Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg: Rendering a period style–that is to say, Dada–easily digestible

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Nakadate

Laurel Nakadate: Making Narcissus seem humble

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El GrecoEl Greco: Sacrificing pictorial structure for needless distortion and the overuse of white

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GirodetFrench Rococo Painting: Pornography (Soulless technique, frivolous spectacle and an overriding lack of empathy)

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                jo_27Van_gogh-photo

Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger: Promoting a minor painter as a major artist by insisting that his work was “the illustration of [a] sorrowful life drama”

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CourbetGustave Courbet: Making Narcissus seem humble, Part II, and over-emphatic surfaces indistinguishable from bacon grease

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KrugerBarbara Kruger: Gucci Marxism, hypocrisy and bullying

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Stella

Frank Stella: Not knowing the art of painting from a hole in the ground

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Abstract Painting (726) 1990 by Gerhard Richter born 1932

Gerhard Richter: Providing eye candy for audiences damaged by Conceptual Art

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© 2013 Mario Naves

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