Creative Forms of Art Criticism and Writing

July 25, 2015

Lecturer: An Paenhuysen

Participation fee: 148 euros

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In Art Criticism and Writing 2, the follow-up to Art Criticism and Writing 1*, we delve into experimental and hybrid forms of writing. On a macro-level we will investigate how art criticism can open up to a bigger realm that goes beyond a particular artwork or exhibition, providing insight into ongoing tendencies and movements in contemporary culture. How do critics put the finger on the pulse of their times? On a micro-level we will also look for ways to expand art criticism’s narrative into the poetic and the fictional. What happens when nonfiction and fiction meet in art criticism?

We will experiment with the writing of art criticism not just to find new creative forms but for what it can contribute to the art world in a deeper way. The general aim of this course is to develop a better sense of your own personal interests, voice and style. Therefore an intensive engagement of the participant is required.

*It is not necessary to have done Art Criticism 1, but for those who have completed the first course, this is the perfect extension.



Week 1:  What is trending?

  • tracing trends, movements and hypes in the contemporary art world
  • blowing-up and venting in art criticism
  • the (dis)advantages of making grand, sweeping statements in art criticism
  • writing manifestos in art criticism: where/what is the next revolution?
  • assignment

Week 2:  Signature shot

  • feedback on writing assignment
  • what is one’s own voice? Finding your “signature shot”
  • investigate historical examples of daring voices in art writing in the 1920s
  • learning to control the narrative / develop a sense of construction / writing with the ear
  • assignment

Week 3:  (Non)Fiction

  • feedback writing assignment
  • fictional form in art criticism: the art work as starting point for fictional and poetic developments
  • the question of truth and untruth in art criticism
  • the writers’ room or writing as a collective
  • assignment

Week 4:  New perspectives

  • feedback writing assignment
  • developing interests in your writing/mapping
  • creating new perspectives on art
  • deconstructing the trodden path
  • writing exercise in class

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