Good luck with your quest. I mean it, and not facetiously.
Usually when I am at museums, or galleries, looking at prints, eavesdropping on conversations, or talking to other people, I don't hear them talking about grain, sharpness, resolution, etc. It has a lot more to do with the genius of the idea, how the picture affects them, how they like the composition, and how they react to it. The only ones I hear doing so are other photographers. No rule without exception, but that's been true in my experience.
I do what I can with my pictures to express myself to the best of my ability, as I hope you and everybody else does. There's something inside, a feeling, a situation, something we wish to share and tell the world about that is special. How we let it out is individual, and a choice at an artist's discretion. Either they make pictures for themselves, how they feel it fits what they wish to express, or they make the picture to sell, listening to their audience and understanding what they want or need, commissioned or otherwise. Or, more likely, it's a combination of both.
Anything goes, basically. Some like a cool idea, others a more refined approach. Some like to make small photogravures, and others like to make 40" by one mile long inkjets. Some like grain, others dislike it, and a third category don't care (that's the category I'm in).