Review the Review

As a group of four, we chose a particular review of an exhibition from an artist magazine to read and deconstruct. Together we discussed what worked well within the text and what we felt could have been improved and then went on to write a review of the review itself. For the review we chose a section written by Oliver Basciano on the artwork of Artur Barrio from the Brasil review special insertion.


Fig 24. Review of Artur Barrio’s work by Oliver Basciano from The Brasil special insertion- Own Photocopy (2012)

Oliver Basciano’s review on Artur Barrio’s work comes across as objective yet bland. He talks of how Barrio works within his practice, explaining the possible reasons for his aggressiveness by discussing his background. However, when doing this, he does not delve too far into detail, leaving the reader with enough information to explain his point. Basciano does not suggest that Barrio’s work is rebellious, yet he shortly speaks of how he avoids the “censorious eyes of Brazil’s Military government” leaving the audience and readers to decide for themselves. His description is basic and does not offer much of an explanation of his work.

Basciano discusses of the temporary value of Barrio’s artwork and how it causes “certain revulsion” to the audience. Although when doing so, he speaks indifferently about the artworks affect on his emotions, which can in turn leave the reader sharing his emotionless attitude. On the other hand, when he discusses the difficulties in curating these temporary works, his tone works well as he is more descriptive and less bland.

Overall, Basciano uses an unbiased approach, creating a factual yet ordinary review, leaving the reader feeling impassive towards Artur Barrio’s artwork with a brief overview of his works and background.


By Kath Howard (2013)