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Research & Writing: Studio Practice Writing

Help with writing and conducting research, including resources for starting your research

Why Write?

Some types of writing that may be expected of artists include:

  • Artist statement(s)
  • Artist biography
  • Grant proposals
  • Residency applications
  • Exhibition texts

Writing well is crucial - you need to be able to communicate clearly with your audience. Skillful writing also gives you a better chance of securing grants and/or artist residencies.

Writing a Critique

In general, you should use the following structure when writing a critique of an artwork:

  • Describe what you see
    • Do not apply value judgments at this stage
  • Analyze the work
    • Look at the composition and formal elements
  • Interpret the work
    • Think about what the artist is trying to convey
  • Evaluate the work
    • Establish clear criteria to reach a judgment of it
    • Make sure you have evidence to back up your judgment

Writing an Artist Statement

In general, artist statements are written in the first person. Think about why you are writing an artist statement - who is your audience? How long should it be/how detailed? Is this about a specific work/series of works or is it about your practice more generally?

The following are questions to help you get started (keep in mind that this is a statement about your art, rather than a biography of you):

  • Who are you?
  • What in your background is relevant to your work?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What are your motivations for producing artwork?
  • What materials do you use?
  • Why do you use those materials?
  • How do you make your work?
  • What is the framework for your work (historical, theoretical, etc.)?

The handouts below provide information on how to write artist statements; to see examples of artist statements, search "artist statement" in Art & Architecture Source.

College for Creative Studies website