English Professor’s Honored Career Rides the Line between Art Criticism and Story

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 29, 2016) — The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation has selected English professor and writer-in-residence Lynne Tillman as one of 20 recipients of an Arts Writers Grant, which supports authors of articles, books, blogs, and short-form writing that focus on contemporary visual art. Tillman was one of seven grantees in the category of Short Form Arts Writing.

A novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic, Tillman will use the funding to continue writing essays on art and culture, and begin exploring the relationship between art and contemporary fiction and writing.

UAlbany's professor art critic Lynne Tillman

Writer-in-Residence Lynne Tillman 

Tillman’s arts writing often takes the form of a story rather than a conventional piece of art criticism. She writes a bimonthly column for the London-based magazine Frieze, the most widely read European art magazine, and her work has been featured in a number of artists’ books and museum catalogs, including two editions (1995, 2014) of the Whitney Biennial, the signature event of the preeminent museum of 20th Century and contemporary American art.

She has collaborated on art work with the visual artists Kiki Smith, Vik Muniz, Nayland Blake, and Moyra Davey. Her recent essay on Cindy Sherman was published in the Broad Museum's catalog in September of 2015 — just as the long-awaited Broad Museum opened in Los Angeles.

In June, her story written in response to Liz Deschene's work — which explores the materials and properties of photography, light, and perception, often in relation to the architectural environments — will appear in the catalog accompanying Deschene's one-person exhibition at the ICA in Boston.

Tillman is the author of five novels, four collections of short stories, two essay collections, and two non-fiction books. Among her many accolades, she has twice been a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist: for her novel No Lease on Life (1998) and for best criticism for her essay collection What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (2014). She also received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006.

She joined the University as an associate professor and writer in residence in spring 2002, and became a full professor in 2005. In the spring, she divides her time between writing at her home in Manhattan and teaching a graduate fiction writing workshop and advanced writing for undergraduates at UAlbany.

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