writing assignments 24

Art 434: Thoughts on the Second Opinion and Gallery Writing Assignments (Spring 2020)For the Second Opinion and Gallery papers (combined projects now due to COVID-19), select two or three works of art from the PowerPoint online lectures or online sources from which to write your formal analysis. Select one of the statements/quotes listed below by prominent contemporary art critics/poets and use that thought as a “point of entry” to develop your opinion or position. Be sure to compose/weave your response around a formal analysis of your chosen works of art. Weave your ideas/opinions through the selected quote (think of the quote as a window or portal through which you are looking) and write about what you see framed by that portal and how it makes you respond/feel. You may use any writing style you are comfortable with and submit your Opinion/Gallery paper electronically to me via WebCampus or attached to my email (robert.tracy@unlv.edu) on the last day of instruction which for us is Thursday, May 7 . You may submit your combined Opinion/Gallery paper earlier if you prefer. This combined Opinion/Gallery paper should be six to seven pages in length (typed, double spaced). Be sure to email me if you have any questions. I hope you enjoy this combined Opinion and Gallery writing assignment! And I look forward to reading your thoughts! For those of you enrolled in another of my Spring 2020 classes, you can just add one additional page and your submission will count for both classes. Be sure to list both class numbers on the front page with your name please.Stay safe and healthy!

“Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we’d probably learn twice as much.”(Lucy Lippard, WhiteWalls, Vol. 36-38 (1995), p 45)


Conceptual art, for me, means work in which the idea is paramount and the material form is secondary, lightweight, ephemeral, cheap, unpretentious and/or ‘dematerialized’…A piece of paper or a photograph is as much an object, or as ‘material’ as a ton of lead.”(Lucy Lippard)


“More than a rejection or dissolution of the past, avant-garde originality is conceived as a literal origin, a beginning from ground zero, a birth.”(Rosalind Krauss, “The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths”, 1986, p.157, MIT Press)

“Photography’s vaunted capture of a moment in time is the seizure and freezing of presence. It is the image of simultaneity, of the way that everything within a given space at a given moment is present to everything else; it is a declaration of the seamless integrity of the real.”(Rosalind Krauss, “The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths”, 1986, p.107, MIT Press)



“The question is, of course, in how much Art can really change anything. The majority of
artists wield very little power, have scant resources, and invest a little amount of time next to
that which would be required for any long term, substantial ‘change’ to their highlighted
issues. But should we really value a project as social agent? That is the question which is
concealed in such statements: “surely it’s better for one art project to improve one person’s
life, or draw attention to an issue, than for it not to happen at all.” Bishop questions this
assumption that what is good is good because of intention: if the value is placed on it only
because it draws attention to an issue, then the effect is clear – art is only valuable as
propaganda. Is this really the only thing it is good for: reduced to a gesture of the feel-good,
the relief, and a band-aid for the society? There is a huge assumption here as well in the
notion that exposure equals change. The value of art, according to Bishop is that it is beyond
propaganda, public-relations strategies, or petitions.”
(Posted 3rd March 2013 by MentalDiaspora)
The Moon and the Yew Tree
“This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. Their irregular branches,
like broken arms backlit from MRI dye, offset by yearning.
They take form in ways only experts can decipher.
The light is blue. The observation of the alien doctor
flickers in his iris, furnace gaslight burning like a pagan memorial.”
(Tory Dent)
“It’s necessary in order to attract attention, to dazzle at all costs, to be disapproved of by
serious people and quoted by the foolish.”
(Jill Johnston)
“Passivity is the dragon every woman has to murder in her quest for independence.”
(Jill Johnston)
“Most artists probably feel lonely or set apart in childhood. But they grow up and find people
who share their interests.”
(Deborah Solomon)
“When you look at a work of art, you don’t see a cover for something else; you see
revelation. If you’re an artist, art is the truest expression of yourself. Even if you’re painting a
life you don’t have.”
(Deborah Solomon)
“If you love everything you do, you will probably end up with mediocre work. I think
dissatisfaction with the state of things does propel creative people forward.”(Deborah Solomon)




“There are those who think that not to copy nature is the rule for attaining perfection.”
(William Hazlitt, Table Talk, 1821)




“Nature is very rarely right, to such an extent even, that it might almost be said that Nature is
usually wrong; that is to say, the condition of things that shall bring about the perfection of
harmony worthy of a picture is rare, and not common at all.” (James McNeill Whistler, Ten
O’Clock Lecture, 1885)




“I don’t work after nature, but before nature—and with her.” (Pablo Picasso, remark to E.
Teriade, 1932)




“I am a working critic and curator, trained as an art historian. I also write books that depend
on art historical research, but also depend on critical judgements. I am not a theoretician,
which separates me from current academics; I was trained by art historians, including Meyer
Schapiro, for whom the work of art – the object – was primary. The role of the art historian
was to learn as much as possible about everything that might possibly have anything to do
with the object and bring it all to bear, in order to illuminate the object. But all of this was in
addition to scrupulous visual analysis, not a substitute for it. Present day theory-obsessed art
historians seem to regard the work of art as a point of departure for intellectual construct,
which is the diametric opposite of the way I was trained.”
(Karen Wilkin: Interviewed by Russell Bingham)




“Schapiro talks about “critical seeing.” Obviously, you make critical judgements, value
judgements, all the time – as Kant says, they are involuntary, instantaneous, and not subject
to modification based on reason – but critical seeing involves thinking about everything else
as well, including other people’s judgements of the work of art, at various times in its history.
Spending time in studios is part of the job, as well as being something enormously
stimulating. The best criticism, as I have said many times, is always deeply informed by studio
talk, by the way artists think and talk about what they do.”
(Karen Wilkin: Interview by Russell Bingham)




“The psychopath discards his ex-lovers with a degree of vitriol and hatred that astonishes his
victims and exceeds any boundaries of normality.”
(Claudia Moscovici)




“From beginning to end, all this phony relationship can offer you is a toxic combination of
fake love and real abuse. He constructs the psychopathic bond through deception and
manipulation. You maintain it through self-sacrifice and denial.”
(Claudia Moscovici)