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Internationally-renowned art critic to discuss 'How to Write about Contemporary Art' in free Leeds talk


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Internationally-renowned art critic and author of the critically-acclaimed book, How to Write about Contemporary Art, described by Art Monthly as ‘the little red book everyone in the art world should have’, is to talk at Leeds Beckett University.

Rose Bowl

Dr Gilda Williams, New York-born art writer, editor and teacher, will be discussing new hybrids of art writing in the wake of the digital revolution as part of the guest lecture series, Inside/Out, hosted by the University’s School of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD).

The lunchtime talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 2 March at the University’s city centre Rose Bowl building.  Places can be booked at http://bit.ly/1oamvmu.

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Williams said: “In examining the perils of contemporary art writing today, I claim that we are not - as is assumed - in a period of crisis or stagnation in art criticism.  In fact, in the wake of an internet-based art system and digital self-publishing, we are inventing innumerable new hybrid art writing forms that cross academic writing with poetry, journalism, diary-writing, criticism, exposé, image-making and more.”


Based in London since 1994, Dr Williams was Editor and Commissioning Editor (from 1997) for contemporary art for Phaidon Press, London until 2005.  She was responsible for editing and commissioning some 50 monographs in the ‘Contemporary Artists’ series, as well as the ‘Themes and Movement’ anthologies.  In 2011 she was a judge on the Max Mara Art Prize for women artists; in 2014 a nominator for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists; and from 2016, a member of the Whitechapel Ventures Board.

Dr Williams is currently a Lecturer on the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a Lecturer on the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, Master of Arts (MA) in Contemporary Art programme.  A London correspondent for Artforum magazine, her forthcoming book, ON&BY Andy Warhol, is a selected anthology of the key writings on and by the most influential artist of the 20th century.

The Inside/Out series offers historical, theoretical and critical analyses of the arts, architecture and design, and features ten high profile industry speakers.  Professor Simon Morris, organiser of the series, said: “Our aim is to bring the best minds of our generation to inspire and support the work we are doing across the School of AAD and the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology at Leeds Beckett.

“We have flown some of the world’s most influential artists to speak to our students, staff, the local community and wider region.  I hope that the series will draw large crowds of like-minded people who will respond well to, and enjoy, these incredible performers.”

For full details of all events hosted by Leeds Beckett University go to http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/events/.

The full list of talks in the series is:

Jérémie Bennequin, Artist, Paris.  Thursday 25 February, 12-2pm.

Dr Gilda Williams, Art Critic, Goldsmiths, University of London.  Wednesday 2 March, 1-3pm.

David Batchelor, Artist will be talking about COLOUR Thursday 10 March, 12-2pm.

Kate Briggs, Translator, Paris.  Thursday 17 March, 12-2pm.

Jaap Blonk, Sound Poet, the Netherlands.  Thursday 7 April, 12-2pm.

Susan Ronald, Author.  Thursday 14 April, 12-2pm.


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