Critical Failure: Visual Arts

Critical Failure: Visual Arts

John McDonald reckons a lot of arts criticism is “no more than a publicity release that has been in the microwave for a few seconds then printed in the newspaper”, while Naomi Cass thinks the whole practice might be in a state of critical failure. Phip Murray believes writers aren’t given enough room to share their work more widely and Patrick McCaughey sees the decline of print media and Patrick McCaughey thinks some of the role of the critic is to acknowledge art.

The visual arts session looks at the state of visual art from the decline of newspapers, the rise of online and the place of the artist in the current space.

The discussion continues online. In a post on Vociferous Whimsy, blogger Nikita Vanderbyl provides a rundown of the panel.

Watch other Critical Failure events

Book Criticism

Theatre Criticism

Film Criticism


Portrait of Naomi Cass

Naomi Cass

Naomi Cass is the director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography as well as a curator and writer who has worked in the fields of contemporary art, craft and design.

Portrait of Patrick McCaughey

Patrick McCaughey

Patrick McCaughey was art critic of the Age and professor of visual arts at Monash, 1974-1981. Thereafter he spent his life in art museums: as director of the National Gallery of Victoria, the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Ct. and the Yale Center for British Art. He lives in Connecticut and writes.

Portrait of John McDonald

John McDonald

For over twenty years he has been one of Australia’s best-known art critics, writing a weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald, and contributing to local and international publications.

Portrait of Phip Murray

Phip Murray

Phip Murray is an artist and writer and the Director of West Space. She is a board and editorial member of the independent contemporary art journal Un Magazine.


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