Advice for Writing Art Criticism

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Lately, I've been Learning to Write Art Criticism. Along the way, I've discovered some useful advice from a variety of critics at The Guardian, an English newspaper. Here's a useful passage.

'Don't trust your prejudices but believe in your instincts'

Adrian Searle on art The only rule: look, look again, and keep on looking. If you don't like looking, don't write about art. There are lots of ways of writing. Read other critics, and not just the ones who write in newspapers. You can be as creative and as mischievous, as serious or as funny as the mood takes you or the situation demands. Think about the details and also about the bigger picture. Find out how artists think, what they say and how they make their work. Find out about materials. Read everything: it'll all be useful. Context matters a lot, and don't forget you are part of that context, too. Don't always trust the things written on the gallery wall or in an exhibition catalogue. Never write about what you haven't seen. Don't trust your prejudices but believe in your instincts. Respect your readers, many of whom know more than you do. Also remember that they might not have seen the things you have chosen to write about, so tell them what things look and feel like and what they make you think. Tell them why some things matter, and others don't. Ask yourself questions. Remember that we live in 2008, not 1688. And by the way, you might not know what you think until you've written about it. Writing is a voyage of discovery. You will get lost and you will get things wrong. That can be worth reading, too. Be honest, even when you're making things up. Don't worry if what you are doing isn't exactly criticism. Critics work with what other people do; but don't be afraid and go your own way.

Got any more advice? Post it in the comments! </p>


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