art criteria

I put this up as a post, but I also want to leave it as a page to let more peoplle respond to it if they wish.
I have been involved recently in reading and contributing thoughts on criticism with people at the blog flyover ( and one of the things I keep coming back to is the idea that criteria and standards by which to assess contemporary art are generally either non-existent or little undersood. I believe this is due in large part to the fact that many contemporary artists, unlike those in the past, create work often with little or no awareness of what others might have done or might be doing. What is being created often has little in common or little connection with what has gone before and that sense of dialogue or response to past artistic principles or aesthetics is no longer considered necessary or relevant. Of course this makes assessing art extremely difficult since there seem to be no universally considered criteria but it also means artists are simply crafting those images which they feel like creating without an underlying aesthetica or motive They are simply creating images and we respond as we respond.
But I am wondering if this is true. Particularly here on the border where we have really two great traditions from which to draw. Mexico has a tradition not only of the great muralists but also of involving politics in the work much more strongly that the American traditions which have always been much more concerned purely with formal art criteria. Do any of these traditions play a role ifor artists in Juarez or in El Paso? What do you think? Feel free to respond in English or Spanish.

Recemmente, me concentrado en leyendo y haciendo pensiementos sobre la thema de critica con la gente que escribe por el blog flyover ( y uno de las ideas que recurre es la idea que las criteria y standardes par puede assess arte contemporaneo no existe o non es comprendide. Creo que es por que mucho des artistas contempoaraneo, en difference de los de la pasado hace sus obras sin connaisance de las que hace los artistas del dias pasado, y este senso de dialogo o reponse a principales artistica y aesthetica es no considerada necessario o relevante. Por supuesto, este hace muy difficile una assessmente por que no hay criteria accceprado par el mundo, pero tambien es que artistas hace sus imagines que quieren sin ulterio aesthetica o criteria como hace los artistas antes. Crean imagenes y nos reponden como nos reponden Pero quiero si este es la verdad. Particularemente aqui en la frontera tenemos dos grande traditiones. Mexico tiene la tradition non solemente de las grande muralistes pero tambien de incluyendo politica en el arte mucho mas que l’arte del America a donde las preguntas del formal consideraciones del arte es mucho mas importante. Que piensen?
Las tradiciones Mexicano o Americano-juegolos una parte para las artistas del El Paso y Juarez? Pueden reponder en Espanol o Ingles y como siempre disculpe para mi espanol.-david Sokolec

2 Responses to “art criteria”

  1. R. L. Croft Says:

    Hello Border Art Dialogue,
    I find your point about artists not knowing or possibly caring about precedence painfully close to my heart, my art, and my experience as an artist who spent the first 12 years out of school on a self-imposed abstention from exhibition, competition, and self-promotion in order to find out why painting, which I loved then as much as now, seemed always to devolve into illustration. That 12 years was a lonely, quiet transformation from painting to wall-hung “constructures” (constructed pictures of various materials, all 60″ tall by varying widths, capable of being shown butted in groups or shown singly, as thought fragments), and finally to the sculpture you see on my website. My new website,, is now up and running. I hope you’ll visit it, spread the word, and stem the tide of anonymity. Tall orders for short times!


  2. Bill Davenport Says:

    Contemporary art is hard to criticise because in interpreting it, you’re continually breaking new ground. There aren’t well-trodden “correct” ways to look at it, and critics have to take chances. As you say, “you respond as you respond.” It’s not true that “many contemporary artists, unlike those in the past, create work often with little or no awareness of what others might have done or might be doing.” On the contrary, artists today are, if anything, too aware of the history and theory behind what they’re doing, as if they could escape it!


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