This is a little something to poder over the weekend as Eric Gibson’s piece The Lost Art of Writing about Art focuses on the writing in the reviews, particularly the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibition. How critics, curators and people in the business of the visual arts write about art is one of those things I get grumpy about. I have to admit that many exhibition catalogues, reviews and increasingly books I want simply throw across the room in anger as they are often written in this totally impenetrable text. You have to focus so much on trying to understand the writing that you forget about the work that is being discussed.
It alienates readers and makes them feel inadequate. This in turns makes them doubt their own ability to understand what is being said and respond to the work. Rather than informing the public these writers simply end up alienating possible art patrons. Looking at and enjoying art has absolutely nothing to do with weather you can pass the vocabulary test. Although I think it is possible to talk about concepts that drive a work of art rather than just the technical aspects of a work, I generally agree with the Wall Street Journal story. Read it and see what you think.
Thanks for the link goes to Alyson over on Art Biz blog as she pointed her readers to the story