Out of print
Out of print
Artwriting is a philosophical study of the history of recent American art criticism. David Carrier explores the writings of Clement Greenberg, Ernst Gombrich, Michael Fried, and Adrian Stokes, concluding that their interpretations have been superseded in part by an awareness that today the role of criticism can be understood only in relation to the art market system in which critics, artists, dealers, collectors, and museums play a role. Carrier argues that art criticism cannot arrive at a consensus about what makes a "true" interpretation of an artwork. Criticism can only appeal to the persuasiveness of alternative critical narratives in determining an artwork's meaning and value. By becoming self-conscious about the inherently suasive role of artwriting, successful contemporary art criticism achieves persuasiveness in the marketplace.
"This Rashomon of critical interpretation was particularly rewarding for me to read. . . . Carrier's language is readable and humorous, in a way oddly reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borge's narratives. While it is filled with erudite references, it is also accessible to the common reader."—Lucio Pozzi
"Artwriting is a critique of critical practice, instructive in its own internal order and rich in novel comparisons. Carrier is a remarkably adept interpreter of the modes of artwriting. Fluent in the fields of aesthetics and art history, he weaves in and out of very disparate bodies of criticism, tieing loose ends together without demanding closure. Carrier's thorough knowledge of his subject—he is both scholar and practicing critic—allows him to offer a sympathetic reading of a text even as he challenges its assumptions and unmasks its pretentions."—Richard Schiff, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Carrier has many interesting things to say, not only about criticism, art history, and the relation between the two, but also about historiography and criticism in general. His accounts of the art historians and critics with whom he deals are perspicuous."—Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz