International Journal of Art & Design Education

Theoretical Comments

Volume 12.3   1993



In a densely argued philosophical paper, Perry reaches the conclusion that critical studies have a role to play in art teaching which is fundamental and equal to the practical work from which it is inseparable. It has been a mistake has been to think of it as a visiting intellectual commentary on practical work that is going on some other time. Often as a mere historical commentary it has nothing like the impact that it needs to develop the practical work in art. It should range intimately over all aspects of the practical work in the actual course of that work. That, he emphasises, is the point of entitling it `critical studies'. The critical effort is the analytical tool that can do so much to contribute the developing practical experience. In the murk of the past, we can note the mutual suspicion of those who regard art as a suspect form of knowledge and a rather vague activity; and on the other side, as a riposte, the suspicion of language and intellectuals and all their work. Perry concludes optimistically ‘It is time to realise that these two horses are pulling the same cart’.