Norman Lebrecht has written lengthy pieces here and there on the demise of the prestige and role of criticism and arts criticism particularly in the contemporary journalistic age. Bargreen seems to agree with the core idea, and traces it to the demise of print media, in part. Her perspective on criticism seems more ambivalent (and reasonably so) than some of what I've seen Lebrecht write.
That question she poses, how is a player going to make a career when there isn't a reliable source to say how good you are, it reminds me that when all is said and done there's always a class element to making it in the fine arts in terms of some form of vetting. It also reminds me of ... something I've written about when discussing Jacques Ellul's The Empire of Non-Sense about arts critics as brokers in the art world. There's a longer form version of that at this link.
From Ellul's work:
THE EMPIRE OF NON-SENSE: ART IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Copyright (c) 2014 by Papadakis Publisher
translated by Michael Johnson and David Lovekin
In this vast universe, the art critic finally achieves his principal role. The artist is only a secondary element in relation to the critic who makes and unmakes styles and reputations. ... Let us note that the art critic is a recent development. This man who is a scholar of the material in question, music or novel, painting or poetry, who knows all that can be known, who is the true expert in all his knowledge of the imaginary museum; that man, a specialist, a meticulous connoisseur of all the techniques, is incapable of producing anything by himself, but, as the occupant of the public podium, he makes his opinions known. He promulgates evaluations, and he reveals the philosophy and meaning of these works. He decrees what is good for the general welfare, and what will be the legacy of our present world for the future. He can add nothing to this legacy but his explanations. The art critic did not exist in the seventeenth century, although there were a few hints. In reality, he is a product of the bourgeois, industrial, mass society; he is a shareholder in the culture, whose conscious and willful reality originates in the same era (along with the idea of culture), ... The critic owes his existence to the mutation of the bourgeoisie: the bourgeois, perhaps uncultured, harried and involved with other needs, and dedicated to utility, does not possess the same understanding of art as the aristocrat. For the latter, there was no need for explanation. By contrast, the bourgeois, the philistine of the Gilded Age, needed explanations, needed to be led to understanding. And, just as businessmen needed their brokers, so, in matters of art, the bourgeois needed their critics in order to discern what kind of art to buy. And for the Bourgeois buying art is an act of status. He must not make a mistake. First and foremost, the critic guarantees the durability and lasting value of the work in question. The critic is just another business agent whose job is to guarantee status.
... The art critic is a publicity agent for modern art. ... The link between the discourse of the critic and art itself is so essential that it appears, for example, in the view of Abraham Moles, as a proof of art's vitality. Everywhere they have proclaimed the death of Art, he asserts; now we are witnessing an "unprecedented flourishing of doctrines and movements," which prove that art is alive. However, these doctrines are the work of critics. They produce an infinite amount of discourse on art, but one must remember that this is not art. ...
Clearly minimalist and post-minimalist paintings and sculptures are nothing, absolutely nothing, without explanatory discourse. We are told that it is a "mental" art, which now requires conceptualization and no longer the sentimentality that has ruled art for too long. I can buy that. But I do not see in what way a red X traced on a white sheet is in any way "conceptual." Now, I must explain. A work like this has no character or any intellectually discernible quality unless the artist or the master know-it-all steps up and reveals the intellectual process, the means of understanding, and the logic of the work. This is what we could call an "instruction manual of poetics." I'll buy that, too. But why should this act of drawing two bars on paper be a greater act of creation than that of a lathe operator in a workshop?