What is a critique?

What is a critique?
A critique is a somewhat formal word that typically refers to a thorough evaluation and careful judgment  in which someone gives an opinion about something.
Criticism is often interpreted as a judgement on a subject; a remark or comment that expresses disapproval, and it can also refer to the activity of making judgments about the qualities of books, movies, art work, etc.
So a critique would be considered a more academic and scholarly approach to judging, evaluating, or assessing a subject, object, performance, writings, etc.
Here are 4 pointers that you may want to do before you even start your writing your critique:
•Active Looking
•Artist’s Choices
•Connection to Artwork
•Possible Interpretation
Spend at least 30 seconds looking at the work, BEFORE  you read any identifying information (like title, medium or name of artist).  Do an inventory of what do you see (color, object, images, how big it seems, etc.) Your first reaction to a work of art might be, “what does it mean?” This is natural. But put aside this question at first and simply enjoy looking! This is active looking, because looking and thinking about art is not a passive activity—it’s a workout for your eyes and mind. Take your time to look and make note of everything: color, line, shape, size, use of light and shadow, materials, and subject matter. Step a bit closer to examine the details, step back to take in the composition as a whole, and if you can, walk around the work of art.
Step Two: Choices the artists has made
Once you’ve spent time actively looking, now consider the choices that the artist made when creating this work of art. Keep in mind that often a work of art is the result of countless studies and strategic planning by the artist so that finished piece may look just as the  artist intended. Thinking about the choices an artist makes often gives us insight into what the work might be about. Try to answer the following question: What could the artist have done differently?
Your answers to this question could involve the formal elements of art and principles of design.
Step Three: Viewer’s Connection to Artwork
In this step, you will draw from your own knowledge base, experience, and emotions to personally connect with the work of art. Do you know anything from this time period, artist, or subject matter? Does the work remind you of anything? Do you have a personal memory or experience that can relate to this work in any way? How does this work influence your mood?
Step Four: Possible Interpretations
Finally, gather your ideas and evidence from the previous steps and think about some possible interpretations for the work of art. Keep in mind that a work of art may have more than one meaning. A wall label often offers one interpretation from the point-of-view of a curator, art historian, or an artist. It’s okay to disagree with them!
Once you have
•Actively looked
•Considered the artist’s choices
•Consider your personal response or connections to work
•Develop possible interpretation of the meaning of the work

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