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Jennifer Higgie

How to Write about Art
15–20 August 2022

Jennifer Higgie

Art critique, Writing

Either Fortress Hohensalzburg (on site) or online

Teaching language
English and German

What to bring
Laptop /tablet, paper and pen.

Maximum number of participants

Assistant teacher
Sandro D. Huber

Participation fee
€ 420,– (reduced € 340,–)

In ‘How to Write About Art’ students will be introduced to the various kinds of writing that co-exist in the artworld: from experimental to commercial, from art criticism, ‘think pieces’, catalogue essays, magazine and newspaper journalism, to press releases and books. Students will learn to identify who their audience is and what kind of art writer they want to be; how to shape an argument and translate a work of art into a language that is clear, engaging and original. They will receive my advice on how to make a living as a professional writer: from pitching an idea to a publication to working with an editor and promoting their work via social media. Over the course of the week, students will develop short pieces of writing, both individually and in groups. We will also put together a list of suggested reading that each student will contribute to.

I will be imparting the knowledge I have accrued over my 25-year career as staff writer and editor-in-chief of frieze magazine, and now full-time art writer – the things I wished someone had told me when I was setting out. The class will be rigorous but friendly; I will be shaping its direction, while encouraging organic discussion and questions. I am passionate about the role of writing in relation to art and will urge students – in whatever direction they want to go – to respond to artworks with an equivalent imaginative flourish.
Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer who lives in London. Her last  book The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women’s Self-Portraits is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, and Pegasus Books in the United States. She is currently working on a new book about women, art and the spirit world; her BBC Radio 3 five-part essay on the subject was broadcast in January 2022.Jennifer was frieze magazine reviews editor from 1998-2003; co-editor with Jörg Heiser and then Dan Fox until 2017; frieze Editorial Director from 2017-19 and editor-at-large until 2021. She is the presenter of Bow Down, a podcast about women in art history; author and illustrator of the children’s book There’s Not One; editor of The Artist’s Joke; author of the novel Bedlam; and writer of the feature film I Really Hate My Job. In 2015, she curated the Hayward Touring and Arts Council Collection exhibition One Day, Something Happens: Pictures of People, which travelled from 2015-17 to Leeds Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, The Atkinson, Southport, and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. She has been a judge for the John Moore’s Painting Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award, the Turner Prize and the 2021 Freelands Painting Prize, and a member of the advisory boards of Arts Council England, the British Council Venice Biennale Commission and the Contemporary Art Society. She is currently on the Imperial War Museum Art Commissions Committee. Her literary agent is David Godwin, of David Godwin Associates, and her script agent is Rosie Gurtovoy, of Peters Fraser + Dunlop.
Jennifer Higgie