Croatian Section of the International Association of Art Critics (HS AICA), founded in 1992, brings together active critics of fine arts, represents professional interests of its members, and promotes fine arts activity in the Republic of Croatia. HS AICA is a legal entity entered in the Registry of Non-Profit Organisations under Order No. 359, and included in the cluster of professional associations. Through membership in HS AICA, our members also become members of the international non-governmental organisation AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d´Art) based in Paris and founded at the UNESCO Congress in 1949. Alongside its Croatian name, HS AICA therefore also uses its English name, International Association of Art Critics – Croatian Section, and its name in French, Association Internationale des Critiques d´Art – Séction Croate. The vision of HS AICA is the implementation of an influential and independent critical discourse that will have a stimulating effect on the development of visual arts, and actively contribute to their public promotion and to the overall cultural and democratic development of the Republic of Croatia, as well as the promotion of significance and the ensuring of development of independent and relevant fine arts criticism within the national framework, and its strong positioning and meritorious role within the international cultural circle. HS AICA continues to protect ethical and professional interests of its members and promote their rights, and actively operate through the system’s institutions should the latter be violated.
HS AICA is one of few professional institutions in the field of culture and art in Croatia founded as the national section of an already-existing global association, which means that it can influence and equivalently participate in the creation of programmes and activities of the international AICA as a whole, and use its resources to a certain extent.
Having organised the AICA International Congress in 2001 in Zagreb and Dubrovnik – which saw leading art critics and museum professionals from all over the world, including curator Okwui Enwezor, then-Selector of documenta 11 – HS AICA has for years run a highly-successful publishing programme in collaboration with other publishers, and has issued a series of key publications from the field of art criticism and art history. Furthermore, for several consecutive years it has organised successful art criticism workshops How to Write About Contemporary Art.
Members of HS AICA are professional and occasional art critics, which also includes architecture and design, the most recognised curators of Croatian museums and galleries, as well as university lecturers and art historians; not only are they first-class professionals in the field of art criticism, but also in organising exhibitions, managing numerous important institutions and organisations in the country, and so on. This fact is also reflected in the structure of the Executive Board of HS AICA – the present one, as well as previous and future ones. They are individuals with excellent contacts in Croatia and abroad, who are capable of managing projects of national and international significance. Members of HS AICA are professionally active in all larger towns in Croatia, thereby promoting the values of our profession.
The mission of HS AICA is the promotion of significance and the ensuring of development of independent and relevant art criticism in the Republic of Croatia, as well as its strong positioning and meritorious role within the international cultural circle. And lastly, the implementation of an influential and independent critical discourse that will have a stimulating effect on the development of visual arts and the broader field of visual communications, and actively contribute to their public promotion and to the overall cultural and democratic development of the Republic of Croatia
HS AICA will intensify its activities in the protection of ethical and professional interests of its members and promote their rights, and actively operate through the system’s institutions should the latter be violated. Due to insufficient or non-existent educational programme that would provide future critics with the knowledge of basic skills of writing art critiques, HS AICA organises art criticism workshops – for all citizens, and as supplementary curriculum for students and graduates of the departments of Art History and related departments of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka, Split, Zadar, Zagreb and Osijek, of art academies and studies in Journalism, Design and Architecture, as well as Fashion Theory[ – at which relevant critics convey personal experience in the specificities of writing for different media. Workshop participants will become future members of HS AICA.
Considering the continuous narrowing of media space intended for art criticism, in the forthcoming period HS AICA is planning a series of public discussions and participations in relevant panel discussions and thematic programmes that will problematise the drastic reduction of cultural segments and media time dedicated to cultural content.
HS AICA grants the Annual Award for Art Criticism (since 2000) with special emphasis on the publication of the book with selected art critiques of laureates. Furthermore, HS AICA grants expert awards at Zagreb Salon, Triennale of Croatian Sculpture, ZGRAF (International Exhibition of Graphic Design and Visual Communications) since 2017, and Split Salon since 2020. In its activities, it also collaborates with experts who are not members of the Association, but can support its operation with their knowledge and skills. It is periodically encouraged to form temporary or permanent working groups for the elaboration of subjects, issues and activities determined by the Assembly i.e. the Association’s Executive Board, which are articulated – in the interest of improvement of the art criticism profession – as public statements and initiatives, programmes of congresses, colloquia, seminars, lectures, discussions, roundtables, expert meetings and exhibitions. HS AICA also supports all forms of professional training of its members, as well as international exchanges and visits of foreign experts.
In the forthcoming period, HS AICA will seek to invite as many young critics as possible to become its members, whose energy and vision should become the foundation for the future and for the Association’s intensified activity. Furthermore, particular attention [will be given to its retired members who are free of work commitments and can therefore, if they wish, creatively contribute to the development and activities of the Association. Unfortunately, due to the vanishing of media space intended for art criticism and a kind of ‘death’ of the latter, rates for our expert work have not been established, as well as the role of HS AICA as the association that provides authorial and consulting services to its members, which would enable transparency and improve the dynamics of business engagements.
HS AICA also seeks to stimulate regional programmes and collaborations, and enhance connections and exchanges with sections of other countries. It especially seeks to encourage its members to apply to existing international competitions for art criticism and/or young art critics. HS AICA will give particular attention to the translation of texts of Croatian art critics into English and their publication on its website. The latter has been connected to the website of the international umbrella association. With its international activities, HS AICA seeks to contribute to mutual understanding and respect of different cultures, and especially to the promotion of Croatian culture in the international cultural circle.
Goals of HS AICA
– development of art criticism as a discipline and contribution to its methodology;
– protection of ethical and professional interests of its members and promotion of their rights;
– consolidation of connections between members through international conferences;
– exchange of information from the field of fine arts, i.e. theory and criticism at the international level;
– contribution to mutual understanding and respect of different cultures;
– improvement of quality and visibility of art criticism;
– documentation of significant achievements of the art criticism profession in Croatia;
– dissemination of knowledge and information from the field of art criticism via own website.