“During modernity the aesthetic and cultural values and the value of art in itself, even if they seemed clear, were subjects of discussion. During postmodernity nothing is clear –everything related with art is open to an endless discussion. Above what is certain uncertainty prevails” (Donald Kuspit)1

Starting from this hypothesis of the predominance of uncertainty, the International Workshop of Art Criticism: Discrepant Accounts propose to reflect about different models of modernism (s) that coexisted during the years of formalist hegemony. The aim is to look for connections that help us to find a “hidden history” of modernity and respond to the affirmation of Hal Foster, who considers the art critic today as an “endangered species” 2. These two accounts can be connected.

Modernism has been the subject of different revisions by art criticism and art history, especially in North America. At last postcolonial theories have started to give a more complex and heterodox point of view about the rigid paradigm consolidated during the 1950´s and 1960´s. Here the discrepancies to the hegemonic model have been usually searched in marginalized cultural models. The European models, however, have in this search not been considered enough; among them the Spanish case does for example not fit into the framework of modernist painting established by Clement Greenberg. From this point of view these models could also be considered as peripheral as European artistic tendencies and discourses of art criticism after the Second World War have been understood from the North American tribune as artistic expressions of an obsolete culture.

The reflection about other models of modernism on a national, trans-national and global scale, along with the analysis of discrepant voices in art criticism will be the bases for the discussions of different specialists from Europe and the Americas at the Workshop that will be the starting point for a review of art criticism with a global perspective.


1 Anna María Guasch, La crítica dialogada. Entrevistas sobre arte y pensamiento actual (2000-2006), Murcia, Cendeac, 2006.
2 Hal Foster, “Críticos de arte in extremis”, Diseño y delito y otras diatribas, Madrid, Akal, 2002.

Sponsoring institutions:

  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC): Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS); Instituto de Historia (IH)
  • Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN): Dir. Gral. de Investigación, Subdir. Gral. de Proyectos. Acción Complementaria HAR2011-13307-E
  • Universidad de Castilla- la Mancha (UClM)
  • Diputación de Castilla-la Mancha

Research group:

  • G.I. Historia del Arte, Imagen y Patrimonio Artístico, IH, CCHS, CSIC

Research projects I+D:

  • Artes y artistas españoles dentro y fuera de la dictadura franquista. (MICINN, ref. HAR2008-00744/ARTE)