The Language Art: Modern Art & Poetry – Studio+

The Language Art: Modern Art & Poetry – Studio+

Explore the intersections between the post-war traditions of modern art and avant-garde poetry.

Over this intensive Studio+ Course, you will discover poets and artists who make use of language, sound, space, printing, and writing, to see how these practises are fundamental to both artforms. We’ll also bring light to some great moments in modern art and poetry that have enriched the traditions of both writing and art-making.

This is a practical course for people interested in developing their skills in either art forms, alongside furthering their understanding of experimental poetry and contemporary art; the onus will be on how these great moments in modern art and poetry can enrich writing and art-making, rather than dense historical analysis. Over the course we will look at:

The Sound Poem
Language as Sound / The condition of being resonant / Multi & non-lingual / Vocal / Performativities / Technologies / Abstract scores
Drawing from the work of John Cage, Bob Cobbing, Jean Debuffet, Marina Abramovic, Bp Nichol.

The Abstract letter
Asemic poetry / Making new languages / Abstract writing / Avant-garde calligraphy
Drawing from the work of Christian Dotremont, Henri Michaux, Li Yuan-chia, Yves Klein.

The Printed Word:
Printing / The letter as symbol / Poster / Minimalism / Repetition / Words in space
Drawing from the work of Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Carl Andre, Louise Bourgeois, Victor Pasmore, Jonathan Borofsky.

The Painted Word:
Handwriting / Writing as art / Colour / Writing as frame, focus, context / Illustration
Drawing from the work of Fiona Banner, Cy Twombly, RB Kitaj, Chris Ofili, Joseph Beuys.

The Collective: 
Collaboration / Collective methodologies / Painter to Poet, Poet to Painter
Drawing from the work of Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Constant, Asger Jorn, Stephen Gilbert.

The Concrete poem
Visuality as meaning / The page as canvas / Font as content
Drawing from the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Mary Ellen Solt, Emmett Williams, John Sharkey, Eugen Gomringer.


This is an expanded Studio Course, or Studio+, featuring a Portfolio of preliminary reading and 4 Assignments, to be completed over 5 intensive weeks of reading and writing. There are no live chats on this course, meaning it is suitable for both UK & International students. 

Image Credit: Adrien Converse

About sjfowler View Profile

SJ Fowler is a writer, poet and artist who lives in London.

His work has been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Somerset House, Tate Britain, the London Sinfonietta, Kettle’s Yard, UNESCO, Whitechapel Gallery, Southbank Centre, National Centre for Writing, National Poetry Library, Science Museum and Liverpool Biennial amongst others.

He has published eight collections of poetry, five of artworks, six of collaborative poetry plus volumes of selected essays and selected collaborations. His writing has explored subjects as diverse as prescription drugs, films, fight sports, museums, prisons and animals.

He has won awards from Arts Council England, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Ireland and multiple other funding bodies. He was part of the first ever Hub residency at Wellcome Collection, and is currently poet-in-residence at J&L Gibbons architects and formerly at Kensal Green Cemetery. He is associate artist at Rich Mix.

He has been sent to Peru, Bangladesh, Iraq, Argentina, Georgia and other destinations by The British Council and has performed at over 50 international festivals including Hay on Wye, Cervantino in Mexico, Berlin Literature Festival and Hay Xalapa.

His feature-length films have premiered at Whitechapel Gallery and his plays have been produced by Penned in the Margins and Dash Arts. He was nominated for the White Review prize for Fiction in 2014 and his short stories appear in anthologies such as ‘Liberating the Canon’. His visual art has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, V&A, Hardy Tree Gallery, Jerwood Space and Mile End Art Pavilion, with installations at Kielder Forest and Tate St Ives. His articles have appeared in Nature, Vice Magazine and Jacket2.

He’s been translated into 27 languages and produced collaborations with over 150 artists. He has pioneered the fields of performance literature, literary curation, collaborative poetry and Neuropoetics. His asemic writing, sound poetry and concrete poetry have also become known internationally.

He is the founder and curator of The Enemies Project and Poem Brut as well as poetry editor at 3am magazine and former executive editor at The Versopolis Review. He is lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature at Kingston University, has taught at Tate Modern, Poetry School and Photographer’s Gallery and is a Salzburg Global Fellow. He is the director of Writers’ Centre Kingston and European Poetry Festival.

‘Brilliant atmosphere, productive and constructive environment. Very good tutor.’

– Autumn 2019 survey response

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