Less Than Ten Fulltime Art Critics Left in America

Less Than Ten Fulltime Art Critics Left in America

Postby CAP » Wed May 22, 2013 4:08 am

A lot of talk on the web about this. It sounds appalling but I think it’s actually part of the disintegration of newspapers in the face of web competition. We’re only talking about newspaper critics. It’s not really anti-culture; just hysterical capitalism. Old media are jettisoning art critics along with music, dance, literature and theatre critics, trying to streamline operations – cut it down to just hard news – their trump card. What will they be left with? Just politics, finance and sport probably, with novelty items sprinkled through. How much advertising that will sell remains to be seen. How many readers that will keep also remains to be seen.

The other force at work here I suspect is the fragmentation or specialisation of the market. A general overview, one-stop shop, mega store and encyclopaedia may be going out of fashion. They may have just got too big for their own good. Nobody wants that many options all the time or some lofty bird’s eye perspective on everything. That’s strictly for the birds. That doesn’t mean moguls like Murdoch will lose their power base – it’s just that they spread it over more publications and broadcasts. But it will make it easier to compete for small fry. It will make coordination that much more of a chore for the articulated dinosaur.

So what’s the future for art criticism? Well if you’re looking for a career in art criticism, in itself it’s not going to be too rewarding for a while. You might want to think about combining it with curating opportunities. Commercial galleries have shown that they can do without press reviews – they’ve had to in most cases – hundreds of galleries in NYC were never going to get a look in with the NYT, VV or the Observer or whatever. It’s pretty much the same elsewhere. So they’ve just got by on their own press releases and social networking. It’s become SOP. It’s the big public galleries and museums that will lose the press coverage. Hard to know how that will pan out.

But art criticism has other issues. I’ve said enough about them elsewhere. One consequence worth considering is whether the remaining critics will become more powerful for being more elite? This is to see them in parallel with the diminishing number of galleries, also noted elsewhere. You can get paranoid thinking about these ‘consolidations’. I tend to think the credibility of the press will diminish proportional to this rising status, so that the remaining critics become one-eyed rulers in a land of the blind. But as usual, there are so many other factors at play in these big pictures, political and economic ones especially, the most you can say is that it makes for interesting times. :ugeek:
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Re: Less Than Ten Fulltime Art Critics Left in America

Postby jasperjoffe » Wed May 22, 2013 12:18 pm

most of them are not a great loss! they're welcome to write for wwr!
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Re: Less Than Ten Fulltime Art Critics Left in America

Postby CAP » Wed May 22, 2013 12:24 pm

That makes us sound like the home of losers JJ.


Oh well.... :?
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Re: Less Than Ten Fulltime Art Critics Left in America

Postby jasperjoffe » Thu May 23, 2013 2:58 pm

haha, we're the home of the lost.
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