How Critical Thinking Sabotages Painting

Laurie Fendrich, Loose Talk, 2014, oil on canvas, 38 x 36 inches (courtesy of th
Laurie Fendrich, Loose Talk, 2014, oil on canvas, 38 x 36 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Laurie Fendrich challenges the efficacy of emphasizing critical thinking when teaching painting.

Fendrich argues: "Applied to painting, critical thinking too often ends up calling into question the very medium—a deconstructionist impulse that particularly sabotages beginning students. Playing baseball or tennis requires accepting the game as a whole, and so does painting. But unlike baseball or tennis, painting is an open-ended pursuit without any numerical victory or defeat. It’s fraught with subjectivity and uncertainty. It is, as an artist I know has said, one semi-mistaken brushstroke after another applied until a kind of truce against the possibility of a perfect painting is reached."