May 25, 2011, 12:20 PM
It would be interesting to know, what individual artists consider when evaluating other artist's work. What I mean to include is both contemporary and old master work. What motivates you, what interests you, what do you seek in evaluating artist's work?
May 25, 2011, 05:35 PM
The first thing that hits me usually are mistakes and defects (of draughstmanship mostly, but also rendering and colour). I try to see how professional this artist is, how much better or worse he is than me, than other artists painting in his style, and than the great artists. Then after I decide if he's professional or amateur I note the strengths and weaknesses of the work.
I guess draughstmanship is so important because if it's not drawn right it can have the best composition, colour, brushstrokes etc, it will still bear the stamp of amateur work.
May 25, 2011, 06:39 PM
So by checking if the drawing is solid I decide if I can respect it or not. But whether I love it or not is determined by personal preferences. For example I like work that's poetic, elegant and luminous rather than realistic and dark, etc.
At the same time if a work looks like something by an old master, I can't help being impressed, no matter what style it is in (such as some things by Odd Nerdrum or Roberto Ferri, Walton Ford, etc)
The iconography of the work matters: a lot of modern "atelier" or "traditional" figurative works and portraits look meaningless because of randomly picked poses, gestures, mixed passages of realism and idealisation in the same painting (as if the artist couldn't decide), random objects that are there just because. The work has to look homogenous in everything, and everything should serve a purpose.
May 26, 2011, 04:50 AM
The first thing I notice is when something is out of sync with the rest of the work. By that I mean, if the work as a whole is drawn convincingly but one part is not, then that's what my eye instantly goes to and for me that aspect detracts from the work's success. The same could hold true in reverse. If much of the work is not drawn convincingly, but one part is, then that's what I am drawn too and the illusion is therefore not effective.
While shape (drawing) is first on my subconscious agenda, value, color and edge also rate.
Due to my training and years of teaching I admit to having a difficult time viewing a work for the sake of pure enjoyment. Perhaps it's a personality quirk? ;)
What interests me primarily is the Baroque. Running a close second are many of the Boston School artists.
May 26, 2011, 01:01 PM
You reveal more about yourself then you realize.
May 26, 2011, 05:01 PM
haha, no I think I reveal exactly as much as I realise, unless you're reading something into it that's not there, which artists tend to do : P
May 28, 2011, 07:09 AM
I can see the value of the way Lala and Darren evaluate artwork, it's the nuts and bolts, everything looks correct, and that works in many situations. Someone like Picasso, Van Gogh, or Roy Lichtenstein make this problematic. The easiest way to skirt this is to say you don't like Picasso but there is no way to avoid these artists.
This past week I was looking at a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Younger, a crudely painted picture by any measure, but there was something compelling about it. I was also looking at a painting by a student of Rembrandt, well painted, but although you could see the influence of Rembrandt something was missing. How does one evaluate these qualities or do you skip over them?
May 29, 2011, 08:40 AM
Bruegel family drawing skills are very solid. Often the two Peters tend to emphasise ugliness (though not always) but here all judgement is personal, they still have my respect.
As for Picasso, Lichtenstein and so on, I consider most of their work not a part of my field. It would be useless for an opera singer to judge a pop singer.
May 29, 2011, 08:49 AM
as for the student of Rembrandt's you're talking about I would have to see the piece.. a lot of those are very insipid though and simply not as good either technically or in terms of content.
May 30, 2011, 06:59 AM
A person can evaluate an artwork by the quality of the draftsmanship but are there other levels by which to judge? And Lala there are opera singers that do try pop music, orchestras do play pop music, and any number of musicians do learn from another musical style. I think it is valuable to learn from different forms of painting. I also think there must be some sense of quality in art that joins good artwork together. Does anyone have an idea of how to evaluate the less tangible facets of art?