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Comments on the German AICA section

The German section of AICA was founded in 1951, the first president was Franz Roh who turned over his seat to Will Grohmann in 1958. They were followed by Werner Schmalenbach, Karl Ruhrberg, Horst Richter, Walter Vitt, Thomas Wulffen and currently Marie Luise Syring.

The German AICA is part of the international association which currently maintains more than 4,000 members of national sections in 64 countries. 200 art critics belong to the German section. One is voted into membership. A two-thirds majority at the annual general meeting is necessary to become a new member. These meetings are held in the autumn, for the most part in Cologne. A valid international press pass allows the AICA critic entrance to most museums throughout the world.

It is the intent of the organization to foster art criticism in its influence, to protect the professional interests of colleagues and to make international art exchange easier. In its talks with colleges, academies and the ministries of sciences, the association is currently striving to create a training-oriented education for art critics, but at the very least to increase the number of offers for special teaching posts in art criticism.

Since 1993, Walter Vitt has been editing the series »Writings on Art Criticism« for AICA. Under Publications you will find a list of the volumes in print with tips for ordering. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the German AICA, Walter Vitt has issued a commemorative publication with the title, "On the Art of Writing about Art" (Vom Kunststück, über Kunst zu Schreiben). The volume can be obtained from bookstores as well as through the German AICA (

All work for the section is voluntary. The critic's association is involved in the German Art Council. In a jury made up of all members, the AICA proclaims the »Exhibition of the Year« and the "Museum of the Year", while an individual juror decides on the »Special Exhibition«. At irregular intervals, the association organizes symposia on the topics of art criticism as well as art. Its members can participate at the international AICA congress, given they have been accepted into the international association.The next congress of the International AICA will be organized in South Korea in autumn 2014.

International AICA

The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) was founded in 1948/1949 and was recognized as a »non-government organization« (NGO) by the UNESCO in 1951. In the meantime there are national sections with more than 4000 members in 64 countries.

The Professed Goals of AICA:
to promote the critical disciplines in the field of visual arts, to ensure their having sound methodological and ethical bases, to protect the ethical and professionnal interests of art critics by defending the rights of all members equally, to ensure permanent communication among its members by encouraging international meetings, to facilitate and improve informations and international exchanges in the field of visual arts, to contribute to the reciproca knowledge and closer understanding of differing cultures, to provide collaboration with developing countries.
(from the website of the International AICA)


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52nd International AICA Congress 2019

a project by AICA Germany in Cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

The Congress took place from October 1st – 7th October 2019 in Cologne and Berlin.

The Highlight in Cologne will be granting the Prize for Distinguished Art Criticism to a well-known art critic in Germany at Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The first two days in Cologne are dedicated to the administrative tasks of AICA International. If you want to join the congress in Cologne and are not involved with commissions as well as the administration council, you will be able to register for visits at prominent regional galleries and institutions. (only if there are at least 8 participants) Guests are welcome.

The opening ceremony of the congress itself will take place on October 3rd at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. On the 4th and 5th the congress will be hosted by the Berlinische Galerie.The Congress theme Art Criticism in times of Populism and Nationalism addresses some virulent issues concerning the role of art criticism from different points of views.

to congress website

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