This multi-disciplinary studio seminar course will take as its platform the investigation of writing by artists about art and artists. Working directly with the generous resources of Crossett Library, students will read primary documents of art history – artists’ essays, letters and sketchbooks, while developing and re-presenting their own self-defined studio projects. We will establish a sense of historical context for our own endeavors in the studio through examining both the impetus behind artists’ work and also the connections and interactions between artists, designers, writers, and performers.
We will begin by studying the writings of many 20th century artists who are known for their facility not only with images and or objects, but also with words. Among these are Cezanne, Van Gogh, Philip Guston, Josef Beuys, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Robert Irwin, Robert Smithson, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, and Agnes Martin. We will also take a close look at contemporary artists who have synthesized the practice of writing into their overall investigations including: Michelle Grabner, David Humphrey, Amy Sillman, Liam Gillick, Carrie Moyer and R.H. Quaytman.
In addition to shared reading, writing and discussion, students will create visual presentations and will conduct a significant research project of their own, centered in Crossett Library, which traces a lineage from their own studio projects, back through time, creating a kind of personal ‘story of art’.