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4 Steps to write the perfect artist´s CV

The curriculum vitae is a document which shows your story and your achievements as an artist. Together your portfolio and your artist statement are one of the important means to present your art practice to others. As you can see on our website, artist´s CVs are always required to apply for competitions and residences, to inform curators, and for press releases. So it is good to have one ready to be sent out.

Here is a way to establish a CV in 4 steps:

1. Content and Structure

Structuring all the information about your artistic achievements in a clear way will make it easier for the reader to grasp it.

Therefore, you might want to structure your statement in 8 parts:

Personal information:

In this section, you should state the year and place of birth. Moreover, it is important to mention where you are typically living and working at the moment. To make your CV look professional, indicate the country acronym of the cities you mention. Example:

Mary/ John Smith

Born in 1985 in London, UK

Lives and Works in Berlin, DE


The information provided about your education does not necessarily have to make reference to an art education, but it has to be relevant for your art practice. Give details about how long you studied, where and who was your professor - or provide relevant information if you did not go through a formal art education. To the reader all this is important to better understand what motivates and influences your work. In all of the following sections, always place the most recent information first and introduce every section with a title. Example:


2008-2010 MA of Fine Arts, in the class of Prof. Blue, Staedelschule, Frankfurt, DE

2005-2008 BA of Fine Arts, Royal College of Arts, London, UK


Solo exhibitions and group exhibitions can be presented together or separately. You will be well-advised to opt for the former if you do not have to offer many solo shows yet. Otherwise, it is best to separate the two.

Make the listing of your exhibitions very clear by providing the following information: year, exhibition title (in italic), name of the exhibition place, location and country acronym. Example:


2019 John Smith - Bad animation, Southbank Centre, London, UK (solo)

2019 Celebration, Site Gallery, London, UK

2018 The parallel worlds, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Frankfurt, DE

2018 True Story, Portikus, Frankfurt, DE

2017 I´m sorry, Hall Projects, Berlin, DE (solo)

2016 You and I, Casper Leen Foundation, London, UK

If your art practice also consists of performances or film screenings, you might want to insert an additional section after „Exhibitions“ to list the places where they were shown.


In this section you want to list the catalogues or artist´s books that feature your artwork. Example:


2019 John Smith, Exhibition catalogue, edited by Mary Le, SBP, London, UK

2018 Sorry, Artist´s book, Selime Verlag, Frankfurt, DE

2017 Whatever, Artist´s book

2016 You and I, Exhibition catalogue, Casper Lee Foundation, London, UK

Residences/ Grants

Listing the project grants, prizes and residences you obtained will provide the reader with a sense of the recognition of your work. Example:

Residences/ Grants

2019 Artist in Residence, Fogo Island Arts, CA

2018 Artnex award

2017 Project grant, Casper Foundation


If your work is part of some public or private art collection, it is important to mention that. Example:


Collection Rick, London, UK

Collection Shering Stiftung, Berlin, DE


Finally, you should always provide your contact and website so that people who are interested in your work have the possibility to easily reach or recommend you. Example:

Email: contact@john-smith.com

Website: www.john-smith.com

In addition to the standard sections listed above, you can also provide references of press articles that mentioned your work, project spaces you organized, lectures or talks you gave, workshops where you intervened, and art fairs you have been part of.

2. Length

If the art opportunity does not provide you with guidelines about the length of your CV, keep it to at most one page. Remember that most of the readers are going to skim over the CV and not read it entirely. So it is very important that you keep your CV short, structured and straight to the point.

3. Correction:

Make sure not to have any spelling and grammatical mistakes in your CV. For this you can use one of the many corrections programs on-line.

4. Layout:

Choose a layout and fonts which will not distract the reader from your CV. Rather than fancy fonts, select classic ones like Helvetica or Arial in a size between 11 and 12 points. Check some layout and typography rules on-line.

  • By Artenda
  • Posted 05.09.2017

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