Art Criticism in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019
6:00 – 7:30pm
School of Visual Arts, Room 101C, 133/141 West 21st Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
Free and open to the public

Panelists: Yasi Alipour, Katy Diamond Hamer, Will Fenstermaker, Jasmine Weber

This talk gathers four art writers who began their careers in the 21st century, having entered the field during or shortly after the 2008 economic collapse in the United States. Panelists will discuss the particular challenges contemporary art writers face, including student debt, material precariousness, an oversaturated job market, a general lack of editorial attention or guidance, the prevalence of online publishing, and more. Along with these challenges, panelists will consider what possibilities exist for criticism in our moment. Additional topics include paid and unpaid opportunities available for art writers and how writers new to the field might find unique platforms for their work. Join us for a conversation among professionals who have experienced the first years of their writing careers in this particular moment, reflecting on how this has been and what can be done.

Presented in partnership with SVA BFA Visual & Critical Studies and MFA Art Writing.

Yasi Alipour
is an artist, writer, educator, curator, and a politically concerned folder. Officially institutionalized by Columbia University (MFA 2018) and implicated as a faculty of School of Visual Arts, She is based in Brooklyn and happens to be Iranian. She currently marvels on “counter-history” as an oxymoron and the power of forgotten bureaucratic letters. Wondering about her relationship to politics as a non-citizen—robbed of agency, she reminisces on the potentiality of prosecuted—and as such temporary—spaces.

Will Fenstermaker
is an editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an associate editor at the Brooklyn Rail. Will is also a board member of AICA-USA. He holds an MFA in art criticism and writing from School of Visual Arts. His work is available at

Katy Diamond Hamer
is a New York based arts writer with a focus on contemporary art and culture and has been actively engaged in the arts community on a global level for over ten years. Beyond writing she speaks at universities including NYU and Sotheby's Institute and has been a panelist on several occasions both as a participant and moderator at the New York Academy of Art and Art Basel Miami amongst others. A graduate of New York University, Hamer has written for magazines including Galerie Magazine, Flash Art International, New York Magazine (Vulture/SEEN), The Creative Independent, Cultured Magazine and many others, including The Brooklyn Rail. Interview subjects of note include, Robert Storr, Courtney Love, Helmut Lang, Cecilia Alemani, and Brett Gorvy.

Jasmine Weber
is an associate editor at Hyperallergic. She is an arts writer based in Brooklyn, particularly interested in Black art histories and visual culture, and a visual artist working in portraiture, conceptual photography, and collage. She received her B.A. in Ethnicity & Race Studies and Visual Arts from Columbia University in May 2018.

AICA supports art writers around the world through public programs and membership that includes free access to museums across the globe. Since its formation in 1950, AICA has been committed to elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.
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About AICA

AICA supports arts writers around the world through public programs and membership that offers free access to museums across the globe. AICA-USA represents the largest national section of AICA International with over 450 distinguished critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States. As part of the international organization, we benefit from a global reach in presence. AICA-USA is intent on international communication, elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.

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Membership Benefits

AICA's membership card is recognized for entrance to museums around the world. Members are invited to attend the annual AICA International Congress, hosted each year by a different member nation, and the AICA-USA annual meeting.

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Featured Programs

Every fall, in cooperation with the New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics, AICA-USA presents a Distinguished Critic Lecture.

Organized in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation, this program matches emerging critics with experienced AICA-USA members who guide them through the process of writing a catalogue essay.

A partnership between The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and AICA-USA that gives art writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one consultations with leading art critics.

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