How is art criticism to be understood within an expanding artistic field? A look at its history and its manifestations within globalized conditions shows the variety of the genre, of the criteria and of the styles of writing. This reader is an attempt to bring a diverse range of art-critical voices and perspectives into conversation with each other, with texts from the 18th century to the present. The editors Beate Söntgen and Julia Voss have invited colleagues from various geographical and intellectual backgrounds to present and discuss the art critics of their choice, choosing one example from their respective bodies of work to comment upon. How have these writers approached art criticism? Which styles do they employ? What makes them extraordinary? What can we learn from their writings today, and why is it important in its contemporary context?
BEATE SÖNTGEN (*1963) is professor of art history at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She studied art history, philosophy, and modern German literature in Marburg and Berlin. She is director of the DFG Research Training Group "Cultures of Critique: Forms, Media, Effects" and co-director of the program "PriMus - Doctoral Studies in Museums."
JULIA VOSS (*1974) is an honorary professor at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She studied art history, modern German literature, and philosophy in Berlin and London. She is herself an art critic and journalist and was deputy head of the arts section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.