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Description, interpretation, and evaluation of works of art, manifested in journal reviews, books, and patronage. Art criticism encompasses a wide variety of approaches, from critical commentary to more subjective emotional reactions inspired by viewing works of art. Art criticism as a distinct discipline developed parallel to Western aesthetic theory, beginning with antecedents in ancient Greece and fully taking form in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century perceptive critics became champions of new artistic movements. Beginning in the 20th and continuing into the 21st century, many critics used social and linguistic, rather than aesthetic, theoretical models. Prominent art critics include Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenblum, Lawrence Alloway, Rosalind Krauss, and Donald Kuspit. See alsoaesthetics.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on art criticism, visit Britannica.com.
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