Graduate Study in Art Criticism and Writing at School of Visual Arts
The graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing at SVA is a rigorous and practice-based exploration of the diverse and ever-changing world of formal criticism of art. We seek students interested in gaining a broader awareness of Art Criticism and Writing and wider base of knowledge about the art world. Request a catalog to learn more about art graduate courses in criticism and writing at SVA.
The practice of criticism involves making finer and finer distinctions among like things, but it is also a way to ask fundamental questions about art and life. To pursue both of these functions requires a broad foundation in art history and aesthetics, as well as a wide-ranging knowledge and curiosity about contemporary culture.
We live in a conflicted time, when the need for criticism and critical thinking is crucial, and yet the practice of these arts is more and more constrained. To avoid a post-critical future, when public matters are decided by fiat and force rather than by deliberation and debate, the critical facility and ethos must be vigorously pursued.
We also live in an age when images have an inordinate power over us-the power to influence public opinion, to create and direct desire, to comfort and inflame. The critics of tomorrow must study images, in all of their manifestations, in order to better understand how we are subject to them. From its inception, an underlying principle of this program has been that the image should begin to occupy a place in the understanding of life comparable in importance to that occupied by the humanities and sciences.
The School of Visual Arts has a long tradition of employing practitioner/teachers, and this continues in the program in art criticism and writing, where courses are taught by those who have made significant contributions to the field. We will focus on the essay as form, as well as on shorter forms of review, and learn criticism by doing it.This program is not involved in "discourse production" or the
prevarications of curatorial rhetoric, but rather in the practice of criticism writ large, aspiring to literature.
David Levi Strauss, chair