de en

4.12.2020, 14:00 – 19:00 Uhr
Art Criticism and the Market—A Case for Social Distancing?

  • Venue:

  • 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)

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art will be answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. Due to Corona, only online!

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.