What's the difference between an art review and art analysis?
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The basic difference between a review and an analysis, is in the “speech act” performed. A review seeks to place an art work inside a taxonomy of art, into a category, or seeks to explain what is different or unusual about the reviewed work of art, what the viewer can expect; it has a valuation imbedded in the rhetoric, an approval or disapproval of the artist’s effort. Goethe says that a review should describe what the artist was trying to do, whether he/she succeeded, and (most importantly) whether it was worth doing. The analysis, on the other hand, is a description and dissection of the processes (mechanical and aesthetic and philosophical) that went into creating the piece—the mechanisms of the process (print, oil, watercolor, collage, assemblage, etc.—the aesthetic impression (Chaotic? Orderly? Arbitrary? Ethereal? Pleasingly symmetrical? Minimalist? Etc.). Finally, the analysis makes an attempt as voicing what the piece is “about”, what the artist might be “saying” based on past work, scholarly research, etc.
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