How to Write about Contemporary Art @gilda_williams

Aimed at contemporary artists, this book explores multiple forms: short news article, press release, auction catalogue entry, exhibition review, a book review or a magazine article.

Art writing is often considered a low level job in the gallery world, however writers often are struggling to find the compelling words o translate the actual experience of art.

To know how to develop an idea through writing is an extremely valuable skill for contemporary artists, who often do not focus enough on writing per se.

Gilda Williams is interested in artists who experiment with writing. Something should happen while you are writing that you didn’t expect, – explains the author pointing towards the non-linearity and emergence in contemporary art writing.

Good art writing doesn’t just present the conclusions, says Gilda Willaims, or is a free flow, it actually traces the intellectual roots of ideas. By explaining where these ideas are coming from, it makes your ideas stronger.

Knowing what good journalism is and how a good article should be structured is a hugely valuable skill. Learning how to read art, advises Gilda Williams it will make your writing better. The formal characteristics: form, school, materials, the primary focus of art writing within the art history tradition, since 1960s is complimented by language, politics, film, contemporary culture.

One excellent piece of advice from Gilda Williams to make your art writing better: nouns are much better instruments to convey images and impressions than adjectives. So get rid of your adjectives in describing your art.

The author recently presented her book at the Garage contemporary art centre: Book Launch

The book is available online: Gilda Williams (2014) ‘How to Write About Contemporary Art’




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