Writing for the art World: From Idea to Submission

Sotheby's Institute of Art

What are the topics?

Sotheby's Institute of Art

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About the course

Art may go beyond words, but it also demands to be documented, discussed, and better understood through written language. Writing for the Art World: From Idea to Submission explores a range of writing styles and genres, from artists’ statements and proposals to press releases, catalog entries, and short and long-form criticism.

Through practice exercises and workshop-style critiques, this course guides students to express ideas about art with clarity and style. Weekly writing assignments with one-to-one feedback allow students to move through the various stages of developing a text from idea to submission. This hands-on approach provides students with the diverse writing techniques necessary for translating visual art into written language, as well as the practical strategies for communicating more effectively with potential audiences. Students also review significant texts on art, ranging from poetic statements to critical analyses.

Please note that the course is taught in English, and a good, working knowledge of written and spoken English is required.

Students will learn:

  • To identify and describe major critical texts and debates in the field of art writing.
  • To assess the vocabulary and writing techniques applicable in a variety of spheres that require a written analysis of art.
  • To create a written review which showcases your writing skills and could be used to further your career in the arts

Sample Topics

Week 1: Introduction: How should art writing be?

  • A discussion of the various genres and professional contexts of art writing
  • Reader expectations of each genre

Week 2: Writing well: Mechanics, structure, and organization

  • An introduction to techniques that will bring strength and clarity to sentences and paragraphs
  • How to structure arguments for maximum impact

Week 3: Attention: How language structures seeing

  • An overview of methods of formal analysis
  • How they apply to exhibition reviews, long-form essays, and artists’ writings

Week 4: Style: Say what you mean and mean what you say

  • A debate on the controversial difference between specialized art vocabularies and obscure art jargon
  • Methods for finding and refining your own voice

Week 5: Discourse: History, theory, and methods

  • An analysis of key methodologies, from critical theory to psychoanalysis, that have defined art’s history as a specialized field of knowledge

Week 6: Personal and Professional Practices: From creative blocks to pitching ideas

  • A workshop-style module on the daily practice of writing
  • Dealing with creative blocks
  • Ways of expanding an idea into creative formats

Experts

Media Farzin

M.A., Modern Art/Curatorial Studies, Columbia University; B.F.A, Painting, Tehran University Media Farzin is a New York-based art historian, curator, and critic whose writings have appeared in Art Agenda, Artforum, Bidoun, Canvas, and Frieze among others. She served as curatorial assistant for t...

Writing for the art World: From Idea to Submission at Sotheby's Institute of Art

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Disclaimer

Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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