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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An art review is one where a piece of artwork, whether it be a painting or sculpture is defined for its' interpretation of the reviewer and observer of the piece being reviewed. In a review an art reviewer will state the good and bad aspects of the piece dealing with the composition of the piece. In a painting the reviewer will mention the way the colors chosen by the artist work together to portray meaning to the observer. In reviewing a sculpture the reviewer will mention the material that the piece is constructed and if the piece seems lifelike. The review could also mention the artist and the era that the piece was completed and how this piece still gives meaning today.

An art analysis is like an art review by goes into more depth of the piece. An analysis of a painting will go into a study of color and the various hues and other mediums that are or were used, whether the painting should have had a matte finish or a glossy finish to bring understanding to the subject of the piece. An analysis could also study the kind of brushstrokes the artist used for the piece. An analysis of a sculpture would go into how the sculpture was completed from the aspect of what form it would take and if marble, concrete or plaster was the correct choice to use for the work. It will also go into what tools the sculptor used and maybe what tool would have been better to use.

Art analysis is the science of the art as the art review is the literature of the piece or pieces being analyzed and reviewed. An art review is mainly a subjective view of a painting or sculpture as an art analysis is an objective view of the painting or sculpture. Art is timeless and brings understanding to those who create and observe. There are similarities and differences between a review and an analysis just depending on the details desired by an observer.

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