The Artist Statement!
Taught by Suzanne Menghraj
Suzanne Menghraj teaches writing in Liberal Studies at NYU, where her courses emphasize the imaginative possibilities of critical reading and writing. Prior to joining NYU’s faculty, she taught at Columbia University, and served as director of its Writing Center, as well as assistant director of its Undergraduate Writing Program. Suzanne has also taught writing seminars for the Artist in the Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She is a contributing writer for Guernica and is at work on a book of essays on art, as well as experimental translations of French interventionist criticism and other gambits.
Artists who must verbally describe and promote their work for galleries, exhibits, agents, and grants are in a really peculiar position. Nonverbal communication is, after all, a good part of the point of visual and performing arts. Who needs words when you have brush strokes, form, camera angle, movement? Unfortunately, gallery owners, curators, agents, and grant administrators often need them. Like it or not, artist statements play an important role in how art is received and publicized.
This two-session workshop is designed to help artists describe their indescribable work in ways that are as compelling—okay, nearly as compelling—as the art itself. During the first session, we'll examine a few artist statements with an interest in setting down some principles of composition.
During the second session, we'll focus on your new or newly revised statements. There will be a little bit of homework to do during the week between the two sessions...but it will be inspired homework that will help you re-imagine the exasperating work of describing your work.
All forms—visual, performing, you name it—and all levels of expertise welcome!