The Art of Critique
We live in a moment in which institutions, including those central to the art world, are facing a surge of public scrutiny. Propelled by social media, profound questions about how institutions operate—whether structurally, politically, or financially—have become an increasingly prominent part of public life and discourse in recent years.
In this context, The Art of Critique revisits the artistic practice of institutional critique to ask what it means today, and to consider its ability to respond to the urgent social, political, and economic issues of our time. Taking works by Tracey Emin, Andrea Fraser, and Sarah Lucas in the collection of the Frans Hals Museum as a departure point, The Art of Critique uses a feminist approach to broaden and challenge traditional art historical definitions of institutional critique. These expanded forms of critique function as precursors to the practices of the contemporary artists presented as part of this project. Collectively, the contemporary works shed a new light on the legacy of institutional critique while addressing structural issues as wide-ranging as labor practices in the creative industry, city development, gender inequality, and the intertwined histories of capitalism and colonialism.
The publication documents the long-term project at the Frans Hals Museum (2019–22)—a symposium, Color Critique (chapter one); an exhibition, Image Power (chapter two: Image Critique); and artist commissions (chapter three: Structure Critique)—together with artworks, conversations, and newly commissioned and translated essays.