Art Critics of the World: Two New Volumes


AICA Press has recently published two new volumes in its series Art Critics of the World.

The first is the first English-language version of the writings of the Slovak critic Tomáš Štrauss (1931-2013), who is known as a visionary critic and key theoretician of the neo-avant-gardes of central and eastern Europe from the early part of the twentieth century up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A member of AICA from 1966, he was an important advocate of East-West exchange, and as a university professor in Bratislava he played a part in the cultural revival in Czeckoslovakia in the 1960s, during the Prague Spring. During his temporary emigration to West Germany in the 1980s  he continued to lecture, organise exhibitions and write extensively about art, often focusing on the relationships of the avant-gardes in the two halves of the divided continent.

(Tomáš Štrauss: Beyond the Great Divide. Essays on European Avant-Gardes from East to West , eds. Daniel Grúň, Henry Meyric Hughes, Jean-Marc Poinsot, Presses du Réel and AICA Press 2020.)

The second focuses on the writings of the critic, sociologist and art historian  Walter Grasskamp (born 1950), who was a professor of art history at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Munich from 1995 to 2016. Throughout his teaching career, he frequently wrote for newspapers, magazines and catalogues. He became known for his expertise in the political theory and social history of museums, exhibitions, and public art, and fostered the oral history of German post-war art through interviews with painters, curators and gallery owners. Fascinated by the way artists have of establishing, developing and defending an individual oeuvre, he wrote many profiles of key artists of his age, including Joseph Beuys, Hans Haacke, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter.

(Walter Grasskamp: The Angel Vanishes. Profiles in Post-Modern Art, ed. Walter Grasskamp, Presses du Réel and AICA Press 2021.)








AICA’s series, Art Critics of The World, aims to offer ‘the widest possible readership texts by original critics who best represent their countries, and who are not yet as internationally famous as they should be’.