In a review in The Guardian, the Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck was seen. Pontus Kyander thinks that criticism is inspiring and asks why Swedish criticism is so cautious.
Helene Schjerfbeck, self portrait.
Can you be common in an artistic sense? In the week the Royal Academy in London opened an exhibition with Finnish Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946), in & # 39; t he landland and in Sweden considered a classic, a safe exhibition card. But now it happened unreasonably. The Guardian, the heaviest of newspapers in London, gave the exhibition two stars from five, and critic Jonathan Jones said that Scarves & # 39; uninspired & # 39; miserabilism"Only for the most part. The self-portraits made thirty years ago for the international renown of Schjerfbeck, are compiled as" bizarre instead of tragic ".
One might think so, and may feel wrong. Either way, the review forces the artistic person to take shape. On the one hand, you have invested institutional weight, secondly, a set critic with the weight of a leading and respectable newspaper. You can be pissed off, or agree that Schjerfbeck is a great artist.
For me as a professional critic, however, it is revitalizing with a review that contains a clear explanation. The risk that to take Big mistakes are the essence of & # 39; e critic. Without it, the criticism just becomes hot water.
It's a strong criticism in literature, popular music and film. But in the visual arts they come sparingly in Sweden. Friendliness, caution, and appreciation are among us critics of art criticism. We put no stars at exhibitions, it would be cruel and not complete.
Why is the art criticism in Sweden so "friendly"? Is it to protect the always endangered art? Individual artists may often have the harassment, some galleries may be under good conditions, but as "institution" art in Sweden is well-founded with an infrastructure of museums, art galleries and galleries, and a scholarship system is at the heart of "an artist" as a whole (although not individually artists) have a relative security. Either way, as little as the task of the music critic is to protect the record companies and the artists, it's the role of & # 39; an art critic to embed artists and institutions in cotton.
The case is not getting better, because the local critic is constantly confronted with the same local gallery artists, institutional leaders and artists. It's an intimacy that is hard to defend in the long run.
But this is just the case circumstances. The basic problem is that the art critic has a weak position in the art system as a whole. The individual critic is an insecurity, without anchoring to the center of art than in a newspaper. Unlike the established artist (and the non-commercial gallery), the critic cannot look hungry for a public and private system of scholarships and grants. And in spite of the work being done on premises that are equal to journalists (mornings and short deadlines), the art critic is not regarded as a journalist, and is paid with a towel.
Then the artistry becomes. Of course, talented and fearless writers are required, but it's also a reasonable economic basis, and the chance to develop and expand experience (art is always done, and normally not at home). It is the newspapers themselves that have to create a basis for the profitable critic to stand up. That they can pay to be wrong.