Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo

Press Releases

Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe

April 14, 2014: Panel discussion devoted to the current state of art criticism in Europe, with the emphasis on criticism in daily newspapers.


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 present


Cervantes Institute, New York City
 April 27, 2014, 3pm

 New York, April 3, 2014 – 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, U.K., 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.

About the Participants


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).

Jonathan T. D. Neil (U.K.) is currently Director of The Sotheby's Institute of Art, Los Angeles, a partnership with Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as Associate Editor for ArtReview magazine and as editor of the Held Essays on Visual Art for The Brooklyn Rail. From 2008 until 2014 he served as Executive Editor at The Drawing Center in New York. In 2005 he co-founded Boyd Level LLC, a private curatorial firm and consultancy that specializes in contemporary art. Jonathan has a PhD in 20th-century Art History from Columbia University and a B.Arch from Cornell University. He is a member of the US Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

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.


PRESS CONTACT: Polish Cultural Institute New York:
Paulina Bębecka,
paulina.bebecka@instytutpolski.org, 212.239.7300 ext. 3011

WHAT: Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe panel discussion about the current state of art criticism in Europe.
WHEN: Sun, Apr 27, 2014, 3-6pm panel, 6-7:30pm reception
WHERE: The Cervantes Institute in New York, 211 East 49th Street, New York , NY 10017
DIRECTIONS: E, M trains to 53 St/Lexington Av stop; 6 train to 51 St stop; 4, 5, 6, trains to Grand Central. M50 bus to East 49 St / 3 Av stop; M101, M102, M103 bus to 3 Av / 50 St stop.
ADMISSION: Free with RSVP http://walkingintheair.eventbrite.com
MORE INFO:  www.polishculture-nyc.org

THE POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE NEW YORK, established in 2000, is a diplomatic mission to the United States serving under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The Institute’s mission is to build, nurture and promote cultural ties between the United States and Poland by presenting Polish culture to American audiences and by connecting Polish artists and scholars to American institutions, introducing them to their professional counterparts in the United States, and facilitating their participation in contemporary American culture.

The Institute has been producing and promoting a broad range of cultural events in theater, music, film, literature, the humanities, and visual arts.

AICA INTERNATIONAL  Established in 1949 to promote independent art criticism, AICA International is an association of art critics affiliated with UNESCO. Currently, it has 63 national chapters worldwide with the membership of over 4500 critics. It regularly organizes congresses and symposia devoted to the state of art criticism. Americans James Johnson Sweeney and Kim Levin have been among its past Presidents. Currently, that position is held by the New York-based, Polish-born art critic and historian Marek Bartelik.
AICA International: http://www.aicainternational.org; and about AICA USA: http://www.aicausa.org

EUNIC NEW YORK (European Union National Institutes for Culture)  The Group of European Cultural Institutes of New York presents cutting-edge and thought provoking artistic and intellectual European achievements to New York and U.S. audiences. We partner with eminent American and European institutions to provide programs in the arts, languages, education, and academia. Some of our members offer libraries and language courses. We share and create ideas and support each other. We have 13 full members and 30 associated members, and we are a chapter of EUNIC Global. The current President is Leena-Maija Rossi, the Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute.

THE FINNISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE IN NEW YORK aims to promote Finnish art, design and architecture in North America. In all its activity, the goal is to help create long term collaborative relationships between Finnish and North-American professionals in the field of visual arts.

The Institute has three principal areas of operation: It runs an artist-in-residency program in Brooklyn, New York; it produces, curates and presents both large scale touring exhibitions and smaller one-time events in collaboration with local galleries and museums in North America; and it develops active collaboration networks with North American educational institutions and organizations within the field of visual arts.

SPAIN CULTURE NEW YORK – CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN  Spain Culture New York is the Cultural Office of the Consulate General of Spain in New York City and belongs to Spain Arts & Culture: the network of organizations supporting Spain's culture and language in the US. This network promotes culture and art, and strives to strengthen bilateral cultural, artistic and academic exchanges. This cultural network also presents many arts programs - featuring dance, music, visual arts, literature, humanities, architecture, and design - in a variety of venues, also in collaboration with relevant American entities throughout the country.

CZECH CENTER NEW YORK  Since 1995, the Czech Center New York has been building dialogue among the Czech Republic and the American public particularly in the areas of culture, business and tourism. The Czech Center New York is primarily focused on presenting the latest and most innovative works of Czech Artists to the U.S. Currently there are 24 Czech Centers in 21 countries globally.