How to Write About Contemporary Art: Section One
The following are passages taken from Gilda William's
How to Write About Contemporary Art
Section One: The Job - Why Write About Contemporary Art
Thames & Hudson, 2014
The first rule for good art-writing might be the attempt, sincerely, to render artwork more meaningful, more enjoyable, attaching 'something more and better' to art and life (Schjeldahl) than without it.
Having an opinion is part of your social contract with the readers.
You need to gather accurate information, and then tell your reader what you think and why.
In evaluating text, you are not merely encouraged to take some interpretive leap but positively compelled to do so.
You must be putting to the test, not just the artwork, but yourself in your response to it.
To write well in any art-writing format, the more you know and look, the better your writing will be.
...an art writer is a conduit, possessing specialist information that enables her to link unfamiliar artworks to a curious audience and pin down an artwork's potential meanings...
Frances Stark suggests art criticism is being phased out, replaced by our fascination with the relentlessly shape-shifting industry (paraphrased).
Written responses to art in the 21st century might belong to any genre whatsoever: a science-fiction tale or political manifesto; philosophical theory or screenplay; song lyric or software program; diary entry or opera libretto.
...online art critics have invented an unprecedented format combining first-hand insider information, sophisticated contemporary-art knowledge, and intensely opinionated commentary...