AICA USA: Trip to Washington DC May 8 & 9

Special addition to the itinerary (see below):

AICA-USA member John Elderfield and his colleague Mary Morton will lead members through their exhibition Cézanne Portraitswhich they co-curated at the National Gallery of Art.

Please RSVP by Friday April 20 to Jamie Keesling ( to be included in this special group.

DAY ONE: Tuesday, May 8
Amtrak from Penn station
Meet at Penn at 6:45amTrip: 7:05 am – 10:32am
Purchase tickets through

11:30am: meet at National Museum of the American Indian for special visit with curator Paul Chaat Smith
Lunch at the museum’s Mitsitam cafe.
2:30pm meet at the National Gallery

DAY TWO: Wednesday, May 9
11:00am: Meet at National Museum of African American History and Culture
VIP entry passes for 10

Amtrak from Union Station
Meet at station at 3:30pm
Trip: 3:55 pm – 7:23 pm
Purchase tickets through

aica press: Book review, Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

article from:
Book review: Lee Yil – Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction

by PHILIP GOWMAN on 25 APRIL, 2018


Lee Yil: Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction
Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art, 1970 – 1996
Initial draft translations: Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji
Final translations: Paul O’Kane, Song Bada
Published by AICA (International Association of Art Critics) /
Les Presses du Réel, Dijon, France, 2018, 212pp

How often do you read the learned essay that accompanies a new art exhibition and find yourself not understanding a word of it? For me, more often than I would like. I am never sure how to tell whether the essay is unclear because the writer is being deliberately obscure (to cover up the fact that he does not understand the artwork himself); or simply doesn’t know how to write clearly; or because I’m not clever enough to understand what he is saying. Then there are the instances where the essay seems to say absolutely nothing: a less than competent writer has been paid to fill a side of A4 and pens a few paragraphs of empty fluff.

If someone has decided to publish a collection of essays by a single critic, there must be a general consensus among the experts that he knows what he is talking about – he must be a significant figure in the art-historical world, and worth taking seriously. And fortunately, this collection of essays and criticism by prominent Korean art critic Lee Yil (1932-1997), are, amazingly, clear and for the most part comprehensible – clear to the extent that even where you’re not sure what it is he is trying to say you think it’s your fault for not being familiar enough with the subject matter or with the concepts involved, rather than the writer’s fault for being deliberately obscure. You are left with the feeling that, if you come back to the essay again in the future, you will understand it better. And that it will be actually worth the effort to do so.

What is even more amazing is that all the essays and articles in this collection are translations from the original Korean. I cannot imagine what a difficult exercise that must have been (though the fact that the task required as many as five translators is indicative that the task was herculean). But Paul O’Kane and Bada Song, who were responsible for the final drafts, have produced results that read as if the articles were (a) originally written in English by (b) someone who is trying to communicate with a broader audience than just other art critics. That is quite an achievement.

Paul O’Kane talks at the launch of Lee Yil’s selected writings at the KCC, 23 March 2018. Jean-Marc Poinsot, series editor, looks on.

Paul O’Kane talks at the launch of Lee Yil’s selected writings at the KCC, 23 March 2018. Jean-Marc Poinsot, series editor, looks on.

The book is a selection from a two-volume publication (in Korean) of all of Lee Yil’s writings. The selection is divided into two parts: a dozen or so essays on art-historical trends or trying to place in context the works in a particular group show; and over twenty, usually briefer, pieces focusing on the work of individual artists. In both cases it is fascinating to read, a few decades after the event, a contemporary take on trends in art history or on the importance of a particular artist.

Yes, there are articles I don’t understand too well. The 1970 article, Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction, that gave this collection its title is a case in point. There is a general consensus that post-war Korean art history included an “Art Informel” phase and a “Dansaekhwa” phase – in both of which Park Seo-bo was a leading light. But there were other things going on as well. Does it make sense to talk of a single “phase” in between those two major trends mentioned above ? Lee Yil’s solution is to posit a phase of “expansion and reduction” – which I’m not sure I fully understand – and which would be made clearer by the presence of images to illustrate key exemplars in this phase. But, to be honest, I think I might not understand Lee’s concept because maybe there wasn’t really a leading trend that held primacy in between informel and monochrome – and that seems to be what is suggested by a graphical timeline of Korean art history that I happened to photograph last year when I was browsing round SeMA (Seoul Museum of Art, near the Deoksugung).

Timeline of Korean art history in the 60s and 70s, on display at SeMA

Timeline of Korean art history in the 60s and 70s, on display at SeMA

It must have been tough to select which pieces to translate. One can choose to grumble about what the collection could have been: it would have been nice, as noted above, to have many more illustrations (which of course would have increased the cost and timeline); it would have been nice to have had the two essays Lee Yil wrote as introductions to the Korean entries to the Paris Biennale in 1963 and 65 – perhaps ruled out for being in French rather than Korean. And among the many artists featured in the book are some big names (Park Seo-bo, Kim Whan-ki, Yun Hyong-keun) and some lesser known ones. One big name is notable by his absence: one is dying to know whether Lee ever wrote about Nam June Paik, and if so what he had to say about him.

But these grumbles are more a compliment than criticism: I simply want more of it, and I would rather celebrate that the collection has happened at all. It would certainly be vain to hope for a follow-up book with the remaining essays. In the real world, this volume probably has a limited readership, no matter how much that readership might appreciate its value; and AICA must move on to the third volume in their Art Critics of the World series.

Finally, there is one feature of Lee Yil’s writing that is totally endearing and which makes you trust that he isn’t consciously trying to befuddle you when you don’t immediately grasp his argument: he is disarmingly open when he himself doesn’t understand a particular artist. “To be honest, Kim Ki-rin’s painting still remains a mystery to me,” he confesses (p 134)1; and “Lee Dong-youb’s painting is not easy to grasp.” (p169). If only all critics were that frank.

Highly recommended, as a supplement to general overviews of the period such as Charlotte Horlyck’s Korean Art from the 19th Century to the Present.

Critique d’art – Issue 49

Vient de paraître
Newly Released


Critique d’art
Numéro 49 – Automne/Hiver 2017
Issue 49 – Autumn/Winter 2017

323 notes bibliographiques et critiques sur
Périodicité semestrielle – 32 € l’abonnement (France) couplant revue imprimée + revue électronique
Abonnements et achats sur simple demande à

Print journal – 198 pages – Bilingual 16 €
323 reviews on books and catalogues at
Biannual frequency – 38 € the subscription (for Europe) combining the print and the electronic journals
If you’d like to subscribe or just buy this issue, please simply write at


Editorial / Editorial

Le Présent revisité

« Lorsque se prépare un numéro de Critique d’art, nous avons une idée encore assez floue de ce que nous allons retenir de l’actualité éditoriale, malgré nos anticipations et les suggestions formulées par les membres de nos comités. Ce à quoi nos lecteurs pourraient répondre que nous avons nos marottes. Une partie d’entre eux attendraient même que nous continuions à creuser les mêmes sillons. Ceci dit, nous essayons de garder la capacité de découverte ou de stimulation intellectuelle que suscite la présence des ouvrages arrivés en attente d’affectation à une rubrique ou à des rédacteurs. […] »


The Present Revisited

“When we are preparing a new issue of Critique d’art, we still have only quite a vague idea about which recent publications we shall be discussing, despite our own predictions and despite suggestions made by the members of our committees. To which our readers might well reply that we have our pet obsessions. Some of them might even be expecting us to carry on working the same loam. This said, we do try to retain a capacity for discovery and intellectual stimulation arising from the presence of books and essays waiting to be earmarked under a certain heading and looked at by editors. […]”


Articles / Articles

« L’Art et ses valeurs / Art and its Values »
Sophie Cras

« Artist-run Spaces / Artist-run Spaces »
Christian Besson

« Art contemporain et anthropologie : un partage d’expériences / Contemporary Art and Anthropology: Shared Experiences »
Baptiste Brun

« Penser avec les grandes manifestations périodiques : l’espace, l’histoire, l’art / Thinking with Large-scale Exhibitions about Space, History and Art »
Elitza Dulguerova


Portraits / Portraits

« Yve-Alain Bois » par Denis Riout

« Pierre Leguillon » par Christian Besson


Traduction / Translation

« Le Groupe des jeunes artistes plasticiens, une seconde fois », extrait de extrait de Antologia Krytiyki artystycznej z lat 1945-1954

Introduit par / Introduced by Mathilde Arnoux


Essai / Essay

« L’Art japonais après Fukushima : au prisme des festivals / Japonese Art after Fukushima through the Prism of Festivals »
Clélia Zernik


L’Histoire revisitée /
Revisiting History

« Pour une relecture fragmentaire du tournant des années 1960 en Europe / For a Fragmentary Rereading of the 1960s Turn in Europe » 
Camille Paulhan

« Quelle radicalité pour penser la couleur ? / Conceptualising Colour with Radicalness »
Elvan Zabunyan

« Remonter le temps : les contemporanéités vivantes des avant-gardes /

Turning Back Time: the living contemporaneity of Avant-gardes »
Laurence Corbel

« Le Contemporain retrouvé /Contemporary Regained »
Julie Portier

« 36 Short Stories / 36 Short Stories »
Véronique Goudinoux

« Penser le monde à venir, réarmer la pensée du collectif / Conceptualising the Coming World, Rearming Collective Thought »
Florian Gaité


Archives / Archives

« La Machine média : les archives Nam June Paik / The Media Machine: the Nam June Paik Archives »
Olivier Lussac


Notes de lecture / Reviews

Livres par auteur – Livres collectifs – Catalogues Monographiques – Catalogues Collectifs
Complétez votre lecture /

323 ouvrages francophones et internationaux repérés dans l’actualité éditoriale d’avril à septembre 2017. Livres, catalogues et créations de revues ont été confiés à des auteurs chargés d’évaluer la littérature sur l’art contemporain produite ces six derniers mois.
Toute la fabrique des notes de lecture en ligne sur


323 French-speaking and international publications spotted on the publishing scene from April to September 2017. Books, catalogues, and newly created reviews: a group of authors was commissioned to evaluate what has been written on contemporary art over the past six months.

Download the PDF

More information about Critique d’art

AICA AECA: Conference 2017

Refutación y Defensa


Fechas: 14, 15 y 16 de diciembre de 2017
Lugar: Madrid, Auditorio Sabatini del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

El Congreso Internacional ARTE Y LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN tiene por objeto debatir y de- finir, en la medida de lo posible, en qué consiste esa libertad, cuáles son sus fundamentos y hasta dónde alcanza su realidad. Buscaremos determinar la entidad de ese derecho, cómo ejercerlo y sal- vaguardarlo ¿Es la libertad de expresión un derecho fundamental del hombre? ¿Tiene límites su ejercicio? ¿Quién establece esos límites? ¿A quién compete su defensa? Que sea AECA, en cola- boración con el MNCARS, quien realiza este Congreso fija un contendido y un tiempo precisos: el mudo del arte, en todas sus vertientes (curaduría, crítica, museología, historia, gestión, ejecución), contemplado desde la contemporaneidad.


Comité científico:
PILAR AUMENTE RIVAS (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
GENÉVIEVE BARBÉ COQUELIN DE LISLE (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3)
MIGUEL ÁNGEL CHAVES MARTÍN (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
LIAM KELLY (University of Belfast, N. Ireland)
BRANE KOVIC (International Association of Art Critics)
JESÚS PEDRO LORENTE LORENTE (Universidad de Zaragoza)
MANUEL PARRALO DORADO (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
CARMEN PENA LÓPEZ (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
CARLOS PÉREZ REYES (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Comité organizador:
María Dolores Arroyo Fernández
Pilar Aumente Rivas
Tomás Paredes Romero
Manoli Ruiz Berrio
Julia Saéz-Angulo

Ponentes Invitados:

Solicitud de información:

Líneas programáticas que ahorman el contenido de este Congreso Internacional:
I.- Introducción general: Poder y sospecha ¿Es posible hoy la libertad? Paridad e igualdad
II.- Función de la crítica: Crítica marginal. Institucional. Docente. Influjo del mercado. ¿Límites? III.-Acciones expositivas: Rol del museo. Pedagogía expositiva. Pensamiento líquido. Curadores. IV.-Libertad de expresión y soportes: papel, audiovisual, redes sociales. Matones digitales
V.- Creación y censura. Autocensura y dependencia. Incidencias del encargo. Concursos.
Y VI.- Homenaje a la figura de Eduardo Lourenço. Conclusiones y ceremonia de cierre.

Presentación de Comunicaciones:
Los interesados en participar en el Congreso enviarán un resumen de la comunicación con un mínimo de 300 y un máximo de 400 palabras, la línea temática en la que desean presentarse y los datos personales del autor/es a la dirección:

Plazo de presentación de propuestas: 2 de Septiembre de 2017

Una vez evaluadas las propuestas por el Comité Científico se comunicará, antes del 15 de septiembre, a los autores la aceptación o no de las comunicaciones para su publicación en actas, así como las seleccionadas para su lectura pública durante la celebración del Congreso. Fecha límite de envío del texto completo de las comunicaciones 6 de noviembre de 2017.

Inscripción con comunicación: 130 euros.

Cuota reducida 60 euros para los asociados de AECA (con antigüedad superior a un año)

Sólo se aceptará una propuesta de comunicación por autor, y no se aceptarán, en ningún caso, comunicaciones firmadas por más de 2 autores. Todos los autores con comunicación aceptada deben inscribirse en el Congreso. La aceptación definitiva de la comunicación y su posterior publicación no será efectiva hasta que no se verifique el pago de la inscripción por parte del autor/es de la misma. Cualquier ingreso relacionado con este Congreso, se hará a la cuenta de la Asociación Española de Críticos de Arte:

Titular: Asociación Española de Críticos de Arte

Entidad: BANKIA
Domicilio: Calle Monseñor Oscar Romero, 2, 28025 Madrid No cuenta: IBAN ES35 2038 1135 7660 0034 4402

Haciendo constar el motivo del ingreso (Inscripción Congreso Arte y Libertad de Expresión) y el nombre y apellidos del interesado. AECA no se responsabiliza de los ingresos anónimos.

La aceptación definitiva de la propuesta de comunicación queda condicionada a la recepción, en este mismo correo electrónico, de la copia del comprobante de ingreso de la inscripción en el Congreso. FECHA LÍMITE DE INGRESO INSCRIPCIÓN COMUNICACIONES ACEPTADAS: 27 de noviembre de 2017

El Comité Científico seleccionará un número limitado de las comunicaciones aceptadas para su lectura pública en las diferentes sesiones del Congreso, comunicándolo a sus autores y figurando también en el programa definitivo del Congreso. La no participación en la sesión pública correspondiente de la comunicación seleccionada supone la retirada de la misma tanto del programa como de la publicación.

Publicación: Todas las ponencias y comunicaciones aceptadas se publicarán en el libro “Arte y Libertad de Expresión”, con su correspondiente ISBN.

Los participantes con comunicación aceptada tendrán derecho a diploma acreditativo, asistencia a todas las sesiones del Congreso y un ejemplar del citado libro.

La Asistencia al Congreso ARTE Y LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN es libre hasta completar el aforo de la sala.

El programa definitivo del Congreso, con la distribución de ponencias y comunicaciones, se irá actualizando en la web de AECA. El que ahora se proporciona puede sufrir alguna modificación.


Formato: WORD
Fuente: Times New Roman, cuerpo 12 Interlineado: 1.5

Extensión: mínima 10 páginas – máxima 15 páginas (incluyendo gráficos, tablas, cuadros, imágenes y referencias bibliográficas)

Notas: a pie de página

Fotografías y gráficos: Se admite un máximo de 5 imágenes. Las imágenes y gráficos se adjuntarán en ficheros independientes debidamente numerados y con la calidad suficiente para su publicación (300 pp JPG / TIF). Las imágenes deberán ir numeradas y con su correspondiente pie, listadas en el documento de Word al final del texto de la comunicación. Las figuras que precisen escala la llevarán gráfica y no numérica y, de presentar planos o dibujos, es preferible que sean originales. Si la ilustración está sujeta al pago de derechos de reproducción, estos serán abonados por el autor, y la organización del Congreso no las aceptará si hubiera dudas al respecto. Los autores firmarán para ello un documento de aceptación que se les presentará durante la celebración de las Jornadas.

El texto de la comunicación deberá contener los siguientes datos:

. Título (español e inglés)
. Autor/es
. Filiación institucional (centro, universidad, institución, profesión…)

. Datos de contacto (email y teléfono)
. Resumen / Abstract (español e inglés)
. Palabras clave / Keywords (español e inglés)
. Sumario (si lo hubiere)
. Desarrollo del artículo (con sus correspondientes epígrafes) . Referencias Bibliográficas

Para las citas bibliográficas, se utilizará el sistema Harvard (APA). Cita en el texto: (Autor, año: página). Listado completo de las referencias bibliográficas al final del texto, ordenado alfabéticamente de la siguiente manera:

Libro: APELLIDO, Nombre (año de publicación), Título, Ciudad de publicación: Editorial.

Capítulo de Libro: APELLIDO DEL AUTOR DEL CAPÍTULO, Nombre (año de publicación), “Título del capítulo”, en Nombre del compilador APELLIDO DEL COMPILADOR (comp.), Título del libro. Ciudad de publicación: Editorial, páginas.

Artículo de Revista: APELLIDO, Nombre (año de publicación), “Título del artículo”, Título de la revista. Volumen (número), páginas.

Las fuentes de internet deben citarse indicando no sólo la URL sino también, en la medida de lo posible, el autor, título, nombre del sitio, año de publicación, y la fecha de consulta.

La participación en este Congreso Internacional supone la aceptación expresa de todas las normas que lo configuran. Cualquiera que presente una ponencia o comunicación que no se adapte a las exigencias de presentación de suso enumeradas, quedará excluido del mismo.

download document

Critique d’art: Issue 48

Vient de paraître
Newly Released

Critique d’art
Numéro 48 – Printemps/été 2017
Issue 48 – Spring/Summer 2017

Revue imprimée – 184 pages – Bilingue – 16 €
395 notes bibliographiques et critiques sur
Périodicité semestrielle – 32 € l’abonnement (France) couplant revue imprimée + revue électronique
Abonnements et achats sur simple demande à

Print journal – 184 pages – Bilingual – 16 €
395 reviews on books and catalogues at
Biannual frequency – 38 € the subscription (for Europe) combining the print and the electronic journals
If you’d like to subscribe or just buy this issue, please simply write at

Editorial / Editorial

L’Atelier de l’histoire et de la critique
« Pour la critique en arts visuels, on a pu croire un moment que le paradigme de construction de la valeur que représentait le modèle historique avait été disqualifié sous les effets conjugués du postmodernisme et de la mondialisation. Or, tant la multiplicité des chantiers, dont les contributeurs de Critique d’art se font l’écho, que les objets qu’ils ont choisis pour cristalliser leur propos prouvent que cette histoire est redevenue le questionnement, l’outil, l’enjeu majeur de nombreux ouvrages sur l’art récent, mais aussi sur son passé un peu plus distant. Pour autant l’histoire en art, l’art dans l’histoire et l’histoire comme projet politique de l’œuvre sont loin de constituer une matière homogène. […] »


The History and Criticism Workshop
“For visual arts criticism, there was a moment when it was thinkable that the value construction paradigm represented by the historical model had been discredited by the combined effects of postmodernism and globalization. The fact is, however, that both the host of projects which are picked up by Critique d’art contributors, and the subjects they have chosen to crystallize their ideas, show that this history has once more become the questioning factor, tool and major challenge of many books about recent art, and its slightly more distant past. For all this, history in art, art in history and history as a political project of the work are far from forming any kind of homogeneous matter. […]”

Articles / Articles

« Raconter les corps : les pratiques performatives, les arts visuels et l’histoire de l’art / Speaking of Bodies: Performative Practices, Visual Arts, and Art History »
Laura Iamurri

« Art, participation (et) politique / Art, Participation and Politics »
Julia Ramírez Blanco

« L’Urgence de l’histoire : symptômes, thèses et problèmes / The Urgency of History: Symptoms, Theories and Issues »
Maria Stavrinaki

« L’Ecran sensible au-delà du cinéma / The Sensitive Screen Beyond Cinema »
Riccardo Venturi

« La Nature qui vient / The Coming Nature »
Estelle Zhong Mengual

« Après la guerre » / « After the War »
Cécile Bargues

« Tous ces écrans qui nous contrôlent » / « All the Screens That Control Us »
Joerg Bader

Portraits / Portraits

« Peter Weibel »
Anne Zeitz

« Armin Linke »
Julie Jones

Traduction / Translation

« An Exemplary Artwork », extrait de L’Art n’évolue pas : l’Univers immobile de Gino De Dominicis par Gabriele Guercio
Introduit par / Introduced by
Véronique Goudinoux

L’Histoire revisitée / Revisiting History
« De l’art des fous à l’Art brut et ses extensions : une histoire de la réception » / « From the Art of the Insane to Art brut and Beyond: A History of Reception »
Marc Décimo

Archives / Archives

« Hans Hartung, une vie d’archives / Hans Hartung, an Archival Life »
Thomas Schlesser

Notes de lecture / Reviews

Livres par auteur – Livres collectifs – Catalogues Monographiques – Catalogues Collectifs
Complétez votre lecture /

395 ouvrages francophones et internationaux repérés dans l’actualité éditoriale d’octobre 2016 à mars 2017. Livres, catalogues et créations de revues ont été confiés à des auteurs chargés d’évaluer la littérature sur l’art contemporain produite ces six derniers mois.
Toute la fabrique des notes de lecture en ligne sur


395 French-speaking and international publications spotted on the publishing scene from October  2016 to March 2017. Books, catalogues, and newly created reviews: a group of authors was commissioned to evaluate what has been written on contemporary art over the past six months.

download document

more information about Critique d’art

AICA France: book-signing event

Book-signing event for: 


Wednesday 22 March 2017, 8PM
31 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris

AICA Pakistan: Karachi Biennale

Dear Friends,
The first Karachi Biennale was launched in January 28 to introduce the mandate of KB17 that will be held in October 2017 with exhibitions, artists talks and panels.150 artists from Pakistan and around the world will be a part of the show.
We would like to invite you all to visit the Biennale that will take place from October 21-Nov 5, 2017 at 10 venues around the city. If you can cover it for your publications it will help to further the art dialogue between Karachi Biennale and the world that we are trying to establish.
Attached is a pdf of our booklet for more information.
Please confirm as soon as possible if you would like to attend as we are offering 4 nights free stay to people who confirm before 30 March 2017

W regards

Niilofur Farrukh
Managing Trustee and CEO Karachi Biennale Trust

download Karachi Biennale Booklet

AICA Sweden: a tribute to Sven Sandström

Sven Sandström, born in Stockholm in 1927, graduated from upper secondary school in Kristianstad in 1946. Like his childhood friend Ulf Trotzig, Sven dreamed of becoming an artist, but he set aside these aspirations at Lund University, and focused wholeheartedly on a career as an art historian. He studied under the legendary professor Ragnar Josephson and took his PhD in 1955 with a thesis on the French Symbolist Odilon Redon, leading to a position as a associate professor in art history and art theory. Since then, he has incessantly worked as a researcher, teacher and writer, penning some 30 books and countless articles on art from both a scholarly and a popular perspective. As a researcher, he specialised in the Renaissance, modern art, art psychology and art sociology, along with works of a more theoretical nature, such as Verkligheten är ett innanhav (Reality is an Inland Sea, 1987), Intuition och åskådlighet (Intuition and Perspicuity, 1996), and Explaining the Obvious (2007). He has also published several anthologies and the art history periodical Aris (Art Research in Scandinavia), and contributed as an art expert to the entries on art in The Swedish National Encyclopedia. In recent years he has somewhat surprisingly delved into Paleolithic art, claiming that previous research has concentrated too one-sidedly on the anthropological explanations for the enigmatic cave paintings, thereby diminishing the artistic urges and qualities they reveal.

From AICA: General Assembly at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1981. From the left: Pontus Hultén, Sven Sandström and Pontus Grate. Photo: J.T. Ahlstrand 1.9.1981

In the 1960s and 70s, Sven came to be seen by many as the foremost innovator in art historical research in Sweden. He published a debate book, Konstforskning (Art Research) in 1965, and co-founded a documentary archive for modern art together with Oscar Reutersvärd, at the Department of Art History at Lund University.  His energetic four-term seminar on modern art was combined with alternating exhibitions of contemporary art at Skånska konstmuseum in the university building in Lund, and evolved into a lively hotbed for many future museum directors, curators and critics. He also initiated behaviourist-oriented research and classes in art sociology and art psychology, and started a research project with major funding from the HSFR on public art in 1976, which continued for several years, with a final report published in Aris in 1978-79 (printed in 1981). In time for his 50th birthday in 1977, he was appointed professor of art history specialising in contemporary art life and environment, a position he kept until his retirement in 1993, when he was celebrated by his many colleagues and students with a Festschrift.

Presidential alection at the AICA congress in Poland 1975. From the left: President René Berger, General secretary Guy Weelen and Sven Sandström.

Sven is also noteworthy for his fervent interest in art criticism and its history. Alongside his studies in art history, he was an art critic for the newspaper Arbetet and later reviewed books sporadically for Dagens Nyheter. In 1960, he took over after Sten Karling as the chairman of the Swedish Art Critics Association, and in 1969 he and Folke Edwards organised the first AICA congress in Scandinavia (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo). The preceding year, he had published the anthology Konstkritik I-II, and he was also vice president of AICA in 1970-73, alongside his chairmanship of the Association. I especially recall how Sven, at the extensive ambulating AICA congress in Switzerland in 1978, moved like a fish in water among his international colleagues, impressing them with his command of French, which was the dominating language within AICA at the time. In the 1970s, he was also involved in AICA’s documentation of modern and contemporary art, and was the editor of the AICARC bulletin.

From the AICA Nordic congress, August 1969: From the left: Henning Møller, Denmark, Ole Henrik Moe, Norway, unidentified man, Sven Sandström.

Around 30 years ago, Sven moved from Lund to a new district in the old fishing village Viken in north-west Skåne, which has been his base camp since then. On 26 February, 2017, this modern Renaissance Man turned 90 years old.

Lund, February 2017
Jan Torsten Ahlstrand

(colleague andlong-time friend)
Gabriella Berggren (translation from Swedish to English)

Award committee: AICA Incentive Prize for Young Critics, 2016 edition

The Jury of the AICA Incentive Prize for Young Critics, 2016 edition − Sara Hermann (Dominican Republic), Michael Asbury (United Kingdom) and Carlos Acero Ruiz (Dominican Republic) − has chosen the text “The Creation of Sanctioned Spaces and the Fall of the Cuban Wall: The 12th Bienal de La Habana”, by Victor Wang (Canada-UK) to be the winner.


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