When you read the work of a great critic, you instantly understand why they’re a critical part of the art world.
Is popularity important for art? Is there a relationship between something being good and something being popular? Should the people decide what deserves the label “art” or should it be left to the experts and critics?
Answers to these questions vary wildly. At the outset of the Modernist period, around the 1880s, many artists began to think of themselves as being the true critics—that is, critics of the grubby materialism they thought was the primary quality of contemporary middle-class life, a materialism that prevented most people from even appreciating art that wasn’t just crass and trite. Therefore, anything the