Friday, 18 April 2008

Bad art writing

There's an interesting column today in the Wall Street Journal on the embarrassingly weak curatorial prose that cripples the Whitney Biennial. I'm sure this kind of writing will be familiar to many Courtauld students. It doesn't belong in a museum any more than it belongs in our essays. Density and opacity do not amount to quality, despite the urgings of our weaker periodicals. Crisp, cogent, effective scholarship lacking in jargon has come to be seen as insufficiently academic/abstract. This has resulted in a serious decline in the quality of art writing in and out of the academy. Perhaps this generation of Courtauld students will bring about an improvement.

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