I work as a writer and curator in Berlin. Originally I am from Amsterdam where I grew up and studied art history, before relocating to Berlin in 2006.
I write literary essays, criticism and reportages, mostly related to contemporary arts and travels. Writing about art does not only require insight into the work of an artist, and fresh eyes, it also needs freedom and skill in language. Therefore I consider style in writing as important as the so called subject matter. The two cannot really be separated.
For Artforum International I have been reviewing exhibitions since 2011. The more than 70 reviews can be found in the digital archive of the magazine. Other texts, related to exhibitions, occasionally appear in the Belgian H-ART magazine and the Berliner Tagesspiegel. In both DAMN and Elephant magazine I have published multiple interviews with artists, such as Kerry James Marshall, Rachel Whiteread, Sylvie Fleury and Julian Schnabel.
My latest book Salt in the Wound is a collection of essays on contemporary art in Europe. For this book I traveled to different corners of the European continent, to speak with both established and emerging artists about their work, and about the place where they come from. The book looks into the relationship between imagination and cultural origin. It was first published in Dutch, in 2016, followed by the English translation (revised) in 2019.
Among the exhibitions I curated are the international painting exhibition Content is a Glimpse (2018-19) in Berlin, and Re: Imagining Europe (2017) and As If, At Home (2016) at Box Freiraum in Berlin. The two exhibitions in Box Freiraum showed a choice from the artistic production in Europe. Through painting, film, sculpture and drawing different views on home, belonging and traditions that matter were evoked.
Both in Europe and the USA I frequently visit art schools, universities and art institutions for talks and guest teaching, like the Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Upcoming visits will be at Indiana University Bloomington and the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Chicago, in fall 2019.
Portrait author: © Virginie Schreyen