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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Undergraduate Course: Art Writing (ARTX10042)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Discussing the visual arts successfully in words is often held to be an impossible task. In reality it is merely difficult. Since the ancient Greeks, many writers of all kinds have taken up the challenge - not only art critics, but novelists, poets, gossips, artists and essayists' (Gayford, M. & Wright, K. (1998), The Penguin Book of Art Writing, Penguin: London).

Course description
This course will focus on the practice of 'Art writing' in its broadest sense, from the relationship between art and literature and writing as art to current debates in art criticism and theory. We will consider writing about visual art across a range of forms including critical reviews, poetry, artists' statements, catalogue essays and manifestos. In particular, we will look at examples of writing by artists in order to examine why so many visual artists have taken up the pen and why writing continues to enjoy such a rich and challenging relationship with visual art.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research: Drawing on a diverse range of sources and examples, demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, histories, concepts and practices that characterise and underpin contemporary art writing by identifying and differentiating between various forms and modes of art writing.
  2. Analysis: Demonstrate your ability to interpret, define and critically contextualise art writing as a practice within and adjacent to the field of contemporary art, evaluating the key issues and debates surrounding the function and reception of art writing as a form and field.
  3. Communication: Apply your knowledge and understanding of a range of approaches and styles of art writing through the presentation of your work, integrating research and analysis to communicate your ideas in a range of well-structured, carefully considered and imaginative forms.
Reading List
Allen, G. 2011. Artists' Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art. Cambridge, Massachussets & London: MIT Press.

Bracewell, M. 2011. The Space Between. London: Ridinghouse.

Burgin, V. 1986. The End of Art Theory. London.

Carrier, D. 1987. Artwriting. Amherst: University of Massachussets Press.

Carrier, D. 2003. Writing About Visual Art. New York: Allworth Press.

Carroll, N. 2009. On Criticism. New York and London: Routledge.

Collings. M & Arnatt, M. 2004. Criticism. London: Rachmaninoff's.

Crow, T. 1996. Modern Art in the Common Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Danchev, A. (ed.) 2011. 100 Artists' Manifestos. London. Penguin.

Dworkin, C. & Goldsmith, K. (eds.) 2011. Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.

Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

Elkins, J. 2003. What Happened to Art Criticism? Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.

Elkins, J. & Newman, M. (eds.) 2008. The State of Art Criticism. New York and London: Routledge.

Foster, H. 1985. Postmodern Culture. London: Pluto Press.

Foster, H. 2011. Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes). New York and London: Verso.

Gayford, M. & Wright, K. (eds.) 1998. The Penguin Book of Art Writing. London: Viking.

Hickey, D. 2009. The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Khonsary, J. & O'Brian, M (eds.) 2010. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak/Fillip Editions.

Lawson, T. 2004. Mining for Gold - Selected Writings 1979-1996. Zurich: JRP Ringier

McLaren, D. 1998. Personal Delivery. London: Quartet.

Murray, C. (ed.) 2003. Key Writers on Art: The Twentieth Century. London: Routledge.

Newman, A. 2000. Challenging Art: Artforum 1962-1974. New York: Soho Press.

Rose, G. 2012. Visual Methodologies (3rd Edition). London: Sage.

Stallabrass, J. 2001. High Art Lite. New York and London: Verso.

Thornton, S. 2008. Seven Days in the Art World. London: Granta.

Wallis, B. (ed.). 1987. Blasted Allegories: An Anthology of Writings by Contemporary Artists. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research methods, self motivated practice, collaboration, negotiation, critical evaluation.
KeywordsVisual culture,critical evaluation,presentation,research
Course organiserDr Susannah Thompson
Course secretaryMiss Catriona Morley
Tel: (0131 6)51 5763
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