Art Writing for Writers



MON WED, 5:30PM - 8:40PM - IN PERSON


In this course we will look at some of the most dynamic examples of "visual writing." To begin, we will look at writers writing about art, from the Romantic period through the present. The modes of this art writing we will consider include: the practice of ekphrasis (poems which address or derive their inspiration from a work of art); writers such as Ralph Ellison, Amiri Baraka, John Ashbery, and Eileen Myles, who for periods of their lives worked as art critics; writers such as Etel Adnan and Alexander Kluge, who have produced literature and works of art in equal measure; as well as numerous collaborations between writers and visual artists. We will also look at artists who have written essays and poetry throughout their careers, like artists Robert Smithson, Glenn Ligon, Gregg Bordowitz, Moyra Davey, and Hannah Black, and consider both the visual qualities of writing and the ways that visual artists have used writing in their work. Lastly, we will consider what it means to write through a “milieu” of sonic and visual artists, such as those associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the New York School, and Moscow Conceptualism. Throughout the course, students will also be prompted to write with and about current art exhibitions and events throughout the city. They will produce original works in various of the modes described above and complete a final writing project that incorporates what they have learned. 


Columbia students do not need to apply, but they do need to register. All visiting students will need to apply to the School of Professional Studies and register upon acceptance.


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