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Chris Buckner on Writing Your First Art Review

As the previous Showroom Manager of Jonathan Adler and columnist for Metropulse, an Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Chris Buckner of New York shares his expertise on writing the perfect art review.

By Chris BucknerPublished 8 months ago 4 min read

An artwork review is a type of evaluation that aims to identify the comparative merit of a work of art. An art review can show the works of art to the public and provide an overview of the artist’s capabilities. The majority of people enjoy seeing works of art.

It can be very challenging for people to take the concept of their imagination seriously, especially regarding works of art. They are usually interested in receiving an appreciation for their creativity and the inspiration it provides. An art inspection can help them in achieving their goals.

Writing an Art Review

Besides showing the works of art, an artist’s display also includes selling their paintings. Through the reviews, they can gain a deeper understanding of their capabilities and how they can be improved to achieve more recognition and success. This type of evaluation can additionally help the artist establish a fresh light on their achievements and what’s to come.

Preparing to Write the Review

Before you start writing an outline, it’s essential that you first avoid retelling the story of the painting’s creation. Doing so could reduce the scope of the inspection and make it less interesting. Another criterion that can be considered when it comes to getting a weak review is the substitution of analysis and interpretation.

Each painting has its name that you can translate as you look at it. After preparing your outline, it’s time to start writing an art inspection.

The Visit Preparation

Before you start preparing an art inspection, it’s crucial that you first ask the venue to confirm that it’s open. This will allow you to find the best time to visit. If the person on the other end of the line doesn’t seem knowledgeable about the art, you can ask to speak to the curator, education officer, or public relations officer.

Some galleries close on a whim. Don’t look at the works during school tours or during sketching sessions. You want to be alone in the space.

For most galleries, you should spend at least an hour in the space to get a good overview of the works of art. You can get a complimentary pass if you’re a legitimate journalist, but you must first prove that you have a following. Before you start writing an art inspection, make sure that you have a pen and a notebook.

If Photos Are Permitted

You must ask permission to take photos of the works of art to help you recall the installation. For instance, if there’s no sculpture, you can use various objects, such as benches, to illustrate your article. If there are multiple works of art, you can use a single painting to frame an image that will catch the attention of potential viewers.

If the venue has press images you plan to use in your feature, ask them if they have them. You can also take photos of the labels of the artwork to credit them appropriately. Make sure to spell the names correctly.

How to Criticize Respectfully

If you’re a fan of everything that’s going on in the gallery, then you’ll probably get suspicious. However, it would help if you weren’t as critical as you might think. Instead, it would be best to use these opportunities to be more selective.

Some things that you might find problematic include the artist’s technique, the framing, and the overall quality of the work. It’s also important to criticize a group show’s curatorial and installation choices.

Writing the Final Review

Write down your thoughts on the works of art while they’re still fresh. You’ll be able to forget about them later if you wait until tomorrow. Instead, start by writing what Anne Lamott calls the “shitty first draft.” Re-write it in two or three sessions and then come back with a new perspective. If you’re working without a deadline, try making one up.

It will help if you proofread your review to ensure it’s grammatically correct. Also, be open to suggestions from an editor. This is the only way to improve as a writer.


Even though he now resides in New York City, Chris Buckner is a proud son of Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduating high school, Chris attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations. Known colloquially as Tennessee’s university, UT started as a small college in 1794 but has since grown to become the state’s flagship university and top public research facility state-wide. In addition to its impressive curriculum, the school boasts 225 years of volunteerism, both within Tennessee and around the world. The university’s space and agricultural institutes have a long history of educating residents and visitors and making a difference in people’s lives via research and engagement projects.


About the Creator

Chris Buckner

Chris Buckner is a customer service professional and retail expert who has over twenty years of experience in the industry. Now residing in NYC, Chris is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. Learn more by visiting

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