Article http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2024.02.034

“Unification” and “Non-unification”: On Art Criticism and Art History Writing


Chuanzi Huang*, Yexin Huang

Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

*Corresponding author: Chuanzi Huang

Published: March 29,2024


Italian art historian Lionello Venturi asserted in "History of Art Criticism" (1936) that all art histories are histories of criticism. This paper first reviews the four recognized stages of art criticism, which include description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. It analyzes Venturi's "unified view" on art histories and the histories of criticism, pointing out that evaluation is indispensable to both art historical research and art criticism. Secondly, it explores the differences and similarities between art criticism and art history from the perspectives of theoretical ontology, basic form, timeliness, narrative mode, and analytical dimension. Finally, it considers the common and separate dilemmas faced by the current academic community in the fields of art historical research and art criticism. They face the challenge of "subjectivity disappearance" in the cultural environment of pluralism and relativism, and the issue of "discourse suspension" in the contemporary landscape of decentralized art creation and multimedia. In the face of such dilemmas, researchers need to revisit the artworks and reassess value judgments.


Dong Bingfeng, Xiang Zairong, and Teng Yuning. Hyperimage [M]. Hangzhou: China Academy of Art Press, 2021.

Gao Yuan. Resistance to Kitsch and Popular Culture Criticism: The Contemporaneity of Greenberg's Art Theory [J]. Art Observation, 2023(08):81-82.

Jia Fangzhou. All the Art Histories Are Histories of Criticism: On Art Criticism and Art History Writing [J]. Journal of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, 2015(05):18-23.

Jing Zhongyue. The "reproduction" turn in art historical narratives: imitation, reproductionism, and imitation of images [J]. Art Life—Journal of Xiamen College of Arts and Crafts, Fuzhou University, 2018(02):38-41.

Li Yunji. Dilemma of Western Modern Art Philosophy and Rethinking [J]. Seeker, 2013(02):130-132.

Lionello Venturi and Charles b. Marriott. History of art criticism [M]. New York, 1936. 

Shen Yubing. Principles, Theories and Methods of Art Criticism [J]. New Art, 2022, 43(02):22-55.

Wang Hongyi. Principles and Writing of Art Criticism [M]. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2019.

Wang Zhiliang. The Critique of Historical Ideology in Postmodern Art Criticism [J]. Art & Design Research, 2022(01):96-102+48.

How to cite this paper

“Unification” and “Non-unification”: On Art Criticism and Art History Writing

How to cite this paper: Chuanzi Huang, Yexin Huang. (2024) “Unification” and “Non-unification”: On Art Criticism and Art History Writing. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science8(2), 496-500.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2024.02.034