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Gallery Tour Step 6: SO Judgmental!

If you hadn't noticed, we have been using a STANDARD of beauty to determine the success or lack of success of the piece technically (whether it is was well made or not, based on the principles of design, and if the message was effective. Before we give our personal opinion about liking or disliking it, we must first consider accepting that the balanced use of elements and principles in art IS the standard to determine if a piece is made with skill and as intended. If you do not believe that there are standards of beauty in art, then you might be a relativist in your beliefs in which case, you can back paddle as far back as Step 3 of the Gallery Tour. Thanks for joining in as far as your own beliefs could take you.


To recap, we have already discussed:

1. A piece of art grabbed our ATTENTION.

2. We took time to consider a detailed DESCRIPTION.

3. Considered the piece in its proper CONTEXT.

4. We analyzed the TECHNICAL application of the elements to the principles.

5. We determined the INTENDED message, convincing with logical argument.


GOOD TECHNIQUE = It is "good" if it is skillfully made (based on the parameters of design) with a clear or intentionally unclear message, when taken into context.


Now for VALUES: I am not talking about the relative lightness or darkness of a piece of art. Neither am I discussing what it might sell for at auction! I am asking you to take note of YOUR CORE values before we deliver the final judgment (Step 7). Okay, I am not asking you to make as serious a judgement as medieval artist Bosch is portraying here in “The Last Judgement.”* SO NOT to worry. SO we have already used some judgement in determining if the piece is technically good or not, but now we get to say if the MESSAGE is good or not.


GOOD/BAD MESSAGE = This is entirely relative to our own personal core values, morals, beliefs on evil or goodness, right and wrong, etc. Yet we not only have s right to our own opinion, but it is a valuable aspect to art criticism.


Let's finally figure out The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Step 7.


Follow my blog to catch the entire Gallery Tour.




Note: These writings are loosely based on writings by art critique philosophers, Ernst Feldman and Hans Rookmaaker and my personal experience.


*public domain, educational use.

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Lorenda Harder Studio

Niagara Region, Canada