4.12.2020, 14:00 – 19:00 Uhr
Art Criticism and the Market—A Case for Social Distancing?
- Online (Big Blue Button)
Online Symposium via BigBlueButton
14.00 Astrid Mania (Professor for art criticism and modern art history, HFBK Hamburg): Welcome and short introduction
14.30 Beate Söntgen (Professor of Art History, Leuphana University Lüneburg) on Denis Diderot
15.30 Julia Voss (Journalist and Honorary Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art, Leuphana University Lüneburg) on the theory and (her) practice of art criticism
16.30 Mehdi Chouakri (owner Mehdi Chouakri Gallery) on the role of gallerists in contemporary debates
17.30 Pablo Larios (Senior Editor at frieze magazine, Berlin) on art magazines and magazine politics
A great deal of today’s art criticism appears on the (web)pages of art magazines that more often than not depend on advertising. Some therefore question whether the reviews and reflections that fill the interstices between glossy ads are independent from economic interests. Daily newspapers, however, at least in Germany, seem to be so scared of the corruptive influence of money that they separate their art market sections from the pages dedicated to what is considered non-commercial culture.
Yet art criticism and the art market are two sides of the same coin. They both originate in art’s so-called emancipation from aristocratic and churchly patrons. The French writer Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784), generally considered the first art critic in a Western, post-Kantian sense, is today famous for his reviews of the Paris Salon—by today’s standards something like an art fair. In a much smaller, less specialized art world, many of Diderot’s successors saw no ethical conflict in supporting “their artists” both economically and intellectually. The German art writer Julius Meier-Graefe, for example, simultaneously praised and collected Max Beckmann.
By the same token, art dealers have greatly contributed to artistic debates and discourse. To consider a more recent example, then Cologne-based gallerist Monika Sprüth’s publication “Eau de Cologne” (1985-1989) introduced and advocated for female artists that had been largely ignored by mainstream art criticism. As a result of the current Corona crisis, many a gallerist has initiated regular mail-outs or uploaded critical content onto their websites.
Organized by Prof. Dr. Astrid Mania
(Conference with the support of Anton von Bredow, Noi Fuhrer, Matthew Muir, and Luisa Telles)