Internationaler Kunstkritikerverband, Sektion der BRD

AICA Presidency: Thomas Wulffen Relieves Walter Vitt

The German section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) has a new, decidedly younger steering committee.

At their extraordinary general meeting on 15 April 2008, opening day of Art Cologne, delegates in Cologne elected 54-year-old Berlin art critic Thomas Wulffen as the new AICA president. He succeeds the Cologne art journalist Walter Vitt (71), who did not run for re-election. Vitt was unanimously elected honorary member. He headed the critics' association for nearly two decades, in the end provisionally, as the first attempt to find his replacement, in fall 2007, was unsuccessful.

The new vice-presidents of the German AICA are Berlin author and journalist Thea Herold (48), and the art and architectural critic Bernhard Schulz (54), also based in Berlin. They succeed former vice-presidents, 68-year-old Klaus Honnef of Bonn and 49-year-old Peter Herbstreuth of Berlin, who also did not run for re-election. AICA general secretary Marie Luise Syring (63), from Düsseldorf, was unanimously reappointed to her honorary post. The AICA general meeting not only chose a decidedly more youthful steering committee, but also moved its focal point from the Rhineland to Berlin, where three of the four board members are based.

Wulffen, the new AICA president, came from Bochum. He studied philosophy and linguistics in Constance, and has been living in Berlin since taking his master's degree exams in 1982. Since 1984 he has worked as a freelance critic and curator. During Walter Vitt's tenure, in the course of reunification, the consolidation of German art critics from east and west lead to a unified German AICA. The critics' association managed this process without the problems that plagued, for example, the German PEN-Club. In 1993 Vitt began editing a "library of art criticism" for AICA. The title of this series is "Schriften zur Kunstkritik" ("Writings on Art Criticism"), and it now comprises 17 volumes. The outgoing AICA president will continue this editing work.

The German AICA was founded in 1951, and the section is part of the international art critics' association of the same name. Its responsibilities include advancing art criticism and its influence, as well as protecting the professional interests of its members. Since 1992, initiated by outgoing board member Honnef, AICA has regularly presented awards to "Exhibitions of the Year" and recognized a "Museum of the Year."


Cologne, April 2008

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