Art Writing and Criticism

Francis Maravillas
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course introduces students to various styles and genres of art writing, ranging from exhibition reviews to curatorial essays and catalogue entries, and short and long-form criticism. Through a combination of lectures, practice exercises, workshop-style critiques and exhibition visits, the subject will guide students to express their ideas about art and exhibitions with clarity and style, and through a critical lens. The course provides a grounding in the historical and philosophical bases of criticism as a field and practice, and its role and function in contemporary culture and media. It offers guidance on how to analyse and evaluate art and its display in a critically insightful and compelling way, as well as practical strategies for communicating more effectively with diverse audiences and publics.
Indicative references
Terry Barrett, Criticising Art: Understanding the Contemporary, McGraw Hill, New York, 2000.
James Elkins What Happened to Art Criticism, Prickly Paradigm Press, Chicago, 2003
Lee Weng Choy ‘Coincidence and Relation: Art Criticism and Heartbreak’, Goethe Institute, Hong Kong, 2005
Daniel Mendelsohn, “A Critic’s Manifesto,” New Yorker, 28 August 2012
Barry Schwabsky, “A Critic’s Job of Work,” The Nation, 9 March 2016