“Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe panel discussion about the current state of art criticism in Europe.” Discussion

Instituto Cervantes New York

poster for “Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe panel discussion about the current state of art criticism in Europe.” Discussion

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What is the situation of art criticism in Europe? How should we talk about art criticism in a local geo-cultural context while art is becoming a global phenomenon? What role does social media play in making local art criticism globally accessible? What is the role of the art critic in shaping identity of local art? These are only a few questions, which noted scholars and critics from Poland, Finland, Spain, and the Czech Republic will address during the panel discussion Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe. Moderated by Hyperallergic’s co-founder and editor Hrag Vartanian, the discussion will begin with opening remarks by Marek Bartelik PhD, president of AICA International, followed by a presentation by each panelist about the current state of art criticism in their representative country with the emphasis on criticism in daily newspapers.

This panel will be accompanied by a special issue of the Brooklyn Rail, devoted to art criticism in Europe and the United States, scheduled for release May 2014.


Dorota Jarecka (Poland) is a Polish art historian, curator and art critic, writing for key Polish magazines and cooperating with the major Polish daily “Gazeta Wyborcza.” In 2011-2012, she hosted a series of meetings - Krytycy i krytycy (Critics and critics) at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, devoted to the condition of art criticism and the workshop of an art critic. In 2012, she was awarded the Jerzy Stajuda Prize for Art Criticism. In 2012 she co-edited the book entitled Krystiana Robb-Narbutt. Rysunki, przedmioty, pracownia (Krystiana Robb-Narbutt. Drawings, objects, the studio). She is a member of the Citizens’ Forum for Contemporary Art and the International Association of Art Critics/AICA.

Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (Finland) is an art critic, journalist (freelancer 1976–1980, 2009–) and author of non-fiction books. Kivirinta worked as a staff writer for 28 years in the cultural section of the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat from 1980. She taught art history and art criticism since 1978 at the University of Theater, University of Helsinki and University of Art and Design in Helsinki. She has published numerous articles on art history and contemporary art, and worked as a co-editor in editorial boards for a series of non-fiction books. Kivirinta has had several positions of trust; currently she is a member of the Board in AICA-Finland (2010–) and AICA International (2011–).
Javier Montes (Spain) is a writer, translator and art critic living in Madrid. He has lived for extended periods in Equatorial Guinea, Paris, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. In 2007, he received the José María Pereda Prize for his first novel, Los penúltimos and received with Andrés Barba the Anagrama Essay Prize for the book La ceremonia del porno (2007). As a translator he has focused on critical publication and research into the works of Shakespeare: he has published versions of Cymbeline, King Lear and Coriolanus, as well as the essay Shakespeare y la música (2009).

Tomáš Pospiszyl (Czech Republic) is a critic, curator and art historian based in Prague, Czech Republic. He writes for the daily newspaper Lidové noviny. He worked as a curator in The National Gallery in Prague (1997-2002), and a research fellow at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2000). Since 2003 he teaches at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. His publications include anthology Primary Documents; A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art since the 1950s, which he co-edited with Laura Hoptman (2002). He is a regular contributor for Czech art magazines Umelec, Tyden, A2, Ateliér, Cinepur, and Respekt, and has penned numerous catalogue essays and magazine articles.


Hrag Vartanian is a writer, art critic, and curator. He is the editor and co-founder of the influential arts blog Hyperallergic. Vartanian was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Toronto, Canada, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Vartanian has contributed to numerous online and print publications including the Art21 blog, Boldtype, The Brooklyn Rail, Huffington Post, AGBU News Magazine, Ararat Magazine, and NYFA Current. He has guest contributed to Al Jazeera, NPR and WNYC.

Organized by AICA International and EUNIC New York members: Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain, The Czech Center New York, and The Polish Cultural Institute New York; in collaboration with AICA-USA and The Cervantes Institute in New York.

Media partners: Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, NY Art Beat.



April 27, 2014 from 15:00 to 18:00
Reception: 6-7:30pm.

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