From 'Change and Criticism: Consistency and Small Minds'





The recompense of art criticism resides in the act of looking at a work of art and allowing oneself the time to experiment and re-experiment, to think, consider, articulate, vacillate and rearticulate. The critique of contemporary art is not an appropriate ambit for somebody who expects to be right all the time or on the majority of occasions. Rapid and not always significant change begs an illogical criticism that creates a dialogue between historic fact, the visual and opinion in an “open manner”, instead of trying to establish a pedantic system that permits no variations and that is only perfect with regard to its own limitations. The idea of self-correction is precisely what is most interesting about art criticism. Oscar Wilde said that criticism is the highest form of autobiography. I would like it not to be autobiography or self-expression, but auto-didactic, a printed record of the process of learning and, ideally, a demonstration that the art discussed is stimulating.


Lucy Lippard (1970) Change and Criticism: Consistency and Small Minds