Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Art-Writing Clichés to avoid this year...

In today's newsletter artnet news lists 30 Art-Writing Clichés to ditch in the New Year. Here are some of my pet hates. You can read the full list at artnet news HERE.

This is a paradoxical term in that the people who know what “deconstruction" actually was will probably roll their eyes. But the air of theoretical sophistication that it brings seems to me the main reason that it is so overused. Saying that Marilyn Minter's book featuring photography of female pubic hair "simultaneously deconstructs and glamorizes her subject" seems rather gratuitous, no?
Specifically as it refers to the artist's intention: “She explores ideas of…." In general, if something is still in the exploration phase, then I would give it some more time before writing about it.
informed by
To me, when a writer says that an artist's work was “informed by" a certain set of ideas, that can be translated to, “What this show was about was unclear to me—but then I read the press release and it said the artist had read something."
an inquiry into
This is similar to 16, above, but more ambitious. Still, saying an art show is “an inquiry into notions of X and Y…" is a good way to make it sound like a B term paper.
This is so common it hurts every time I read it. It makes art sound literally torturous.

The embroidered clichés shown top and bottom are from artist Lisa Bowen. You can see more of her work HERE.

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