Crits: Describing the Method and Philosophy of My Work

By Daniel Lopez (MFA 2016) 

One of the most important parts of my journey as an artist and sculptor at NYAA has been critique, or “crit” as we call it.

Critique Signup Sheet
Critiques can take place with a visiting artist or critic, a full time faculty member, or a third year fellow. This week I had crit with Guggenheim fellow Ed Smith. Smith worked with one of my primary influences, William Tucker, a modernist British sculptor and modern art scholar. This was the best critique I have had in my life. Ed Smith gave me great pointers and finishing techniques for my thesis idea, as well as for my maquette and sketchbook method.

This year I have had crits with visiting artists Anneliis Beadnell, Deborah Soloman, Richard Dupont, Steven Assael, Beth Cavener, and Audrey Flack. I have also had crit with most of the faculty, and the third year fellows. All of the crits have helped me to gain valuable insight into my own work.

Lopez's studio

All NYAA students get excited to meet and receive feedback from experts in their fields. Wednesday is critique signup day, and every Wednesday at 12:30 a long line of students forms down the fourth floor hallway, as students gather and wait to put their names down for critique the following week.

On March 25th and April 1st, all first years students met with acclaimed visiting artist Eric Fischl for group critique. Group critiques allow us to voice our thoughts and critique one another in an academic approach.

Lopez with Richard Dupont

The greatest benefit I have gained from my experience with critiques is the ability to describe the method and philosophy of my work. Critiques are essential to an artist’s development, even if the artist may not fully agree with them. It is helpful to have a second set of eyes read our work, and is a treat to learn from esteemed artists and critics here at NYAA.


See more of Lopez's work on April 13th at the Tribeca Ball, where 100 Academy artists open their studios for a night of art, enchantment and a bit of magic. And be sure to save the date for MFA open studios on April 24th from 6-9pm

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