Academic news

April 13, 2016

Celebrating tomorrow with Ricky (Rose-Carol Washton Long):
Friday, April 15, 2016, 1-5 PM
Room C205, Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue
Followed by a reception in the Art History Lounge, Room 3408

Chase F. Robinson, President, Graduate Center, CUNY
Rachel Kousser, Executive Officer, Art History Program, Graduate Center, CUNY
Rosemary O’Neill, Associate Professor, Parsons New School
Dennis Crockett, Associate Professor, Whitman College
Elizabeth Cronin, Assistant Curator, Photography Study Resources, New York Public Library Peter Chametzky, Professor, University of South Carolina
Laurie Wilson, Art Historian and Author
Susan Chevlowe, Curator, Faculty, Jewish Theological Seminary
Marek Bartelik, Visiting Professor, Cooper Union, AICA President
Katerina Romanenko, Associate Director of Education, National Museum of American Jewish History Maud Lavin, Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Vanessa Rocco, Assistant Professor, Southern New Hampshire University
Melody Davis, Assistant Professor, Sage College of Albany
January 26, 2015



Marek Bartelik, January 2015. Photos by João Enxuto

Marek Bartelik, January 2015. Photos by João Enxuto

Marek Bartelik, art historian, art critic, poet, former civil engineer, international man of letters and 20-year member of The Cooper Union faculty of humanities and social sciences returns this spring after a three-year teaching hiatus. He has been busy as President of the International Association of Art Critics (known as AICA after the French Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art), a position he was recently re-elected to hold until 2017. After seeing through administrative changes during his first term he says he can relax the day-to-day running of the 65-year-old organization and return to teaching. We sat down with him at his tastefully decorated apartment on East 6th street, around the corner from 41 Cooper Square, to talk about his work with AICA, his transition from engineer to art critic and the changing role of the professional art critic.

You were born and raised in Poland, a member of the Eastern Bloc during the height of the Cold War. How did you end up in the West?

I left Poland in the summer of 1981 as the old State Socialist system was collapsing, causing serious economic problems and the massive social unrest that went with them. But, as dissatisfied with the political reality in Poland of that time as I was, I left mainly because—to put it simply—I wanted to start a new chapter in my life, away from what looked to me like a routine existence. I left Poland a year before graduating from the Department of Civil Engineering at the Agro-Technical Academy in Olsztyn, a large provincial town in the northeast of the country. I went to France and soon enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts. I never finished those studies, but it did not matter, because the important thing was that I did become actively engaged in living a creative life back then— not as an artist but as a writer on art.

Tell us about your transition from engineering to art.

It was not linear. As I already mentioned, I studied civil engineering in Poland. Then, I studied art in Paris. When I moved to New York in 1984, I had to be practical again, so I studied to get my Masters in civil engineering at Columbia University. After finishing that program I worked for about five years for a big engineering company on Wall Street. The company had a monopoly on renovating major bridges in New York.  I am particularly proud of designing a restraining frame for one of the cables in the Williamsburg Bridge. It might still be there. But I don’t think I was a good engineer, because I was thinking about art too much. Although a great profession, engineering was not for me. After I quit my job as a civil engineer I went back to school to get my Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. So I think I can say that the shift from civil engineer to art historian, and all the hardship it involved, paid off. However, today I look back with a little bit of nostalgia for those years spent on the bridges of New York.

How did you end up teaching at The Cooper Union?

In the mid-1990s I was asked to find a contributor to a book on the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Someone suggested Dore Ashton [a member of the faculty of HSS – ed.] We collaborated on that book and through Dore I met John Harrington, then dean of the department of humanities and social sciences. After hearing of my double degree in art history and engineering he offered me an opportunity to teach a class on Art and Science. Gradually I switched to teaching Contemporary Art and Russian Art. I taught here as an adjunct for 16 years. I left about three years ago mainly because I became president of AICA International. It was a great honor, but also a great responsibility, which involves extensive travelling around the world.

What exactly is the International Association of Art Critics?

AICA was established in the aftermath of the Second World War with a mission to promote independent art criticism and art around the world. It is an NGO affiliated with UNESCO, with 63 national chapters and an Open Section and a membership of about 5000 critics in almost 100 countries on five continents. Originally, the association was very Eurocentric, but there were many critics from the United States as well. Ultimately we have grown to be a truly global organization. Today we have a strong presence in Latin America, and we are growing in Asia and Africa.

How does one become a member?

To be a member, one has to actively practice art criticism and focus on modern and contemporary art. National sections gather and review applications, which then are submitted to the office in Paris. Different sections have different screening processes. For example, in the US emphasis is placed on the requirement that the critic has to be a practicing one, not just an academic. Of course, sometimes those boundaries can be fluid, but basically AICA is an association of art critics, not of art historians or curators. The US section, of which I was President before becoming the President of AICA International, is the largest one, with a membership of about 500 critics. The smallest sections, such as the one in Pakistan, have less than 10 members. A year ago, I reinstated the section in Cuba and now I am now working on having sections in Bangladesh (where I was just a few weeks ago) and India.

What does it mean to become a member?

During the Cold War, AICA played a fundamental role in promoting art criticism and art in the places lacking freedom, such as Eastern Europe and Latin America. But, in fact, we were needed all over the world as it was emerging from the Second World War. Today, the same urgency applies to Africa, the Middle East, and also to Asia, where art criticism is still underdeveloped. Each year we organize an international Congress in a different part of the world. The most recent one took place in South Korea; prior to that there were congresses in Slovakia, Switzerland, and Paraguay. We also organize symposia devoted to contemporary art and criticism; for example in 2013 there was one on art and gender in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  We are also very active in defending freedom of speech for writers and artists. During my Presidency, we have redesigned our website to serve as a forum for critics to voice their opinions and interact with each other. The work is not finished; we need to attract more young critics to our association and stay “attuned” to current interests.

What’s the current state of art criticism?

It’s clear to me that art critics are not as important as they used to be. Now curators, museum people and collectors set the tone for what is happening in the art world. There is less and less space for critics to publish their texts. And also criticism is becoming less polemical than it should be. But this situation is far from hopeless. Actually, I think by being “powerless” we have come closer to artists and now can have a meaningful exchange of ideas as never before. We can speak about what matters to us all, for example what it means to be creative in a time when creativity is not a priority for many people because we are facing so many other problems. To a certain degree, we can be less “practical”—and more idealistic.

How would you define an art critic?

That’s a big question. I’ve been writing for Artforum International for over 20 years and still ask myself that. Perhaps an art critic is a person who looks at art with passion and shares his/her thoughts with the readers. It is a person who is willing to discover, to voice his/her personal opinions, while relying not so much on academic knowledge as on broader experience and visual culture. Unlike art historians we can be much more spontaneous. We don’t need to focus on the historical significance of art, but more on its impact on us, here and now.

So what’s the future for art criticism?

It still largely depends on us, art critics. That’s why I think it is important for AICA, as a professional organization, to create more space for people to practice writing in an independent way. We need to facilitate the exchange between critics from different countries around the world and help them find space to publish. As far as the future of art criticism is concerned, let me recall an anecdote, which I heard from a Romanian writer and, then slightly modified: A procession of art critics walks over a cliff. They keep walking, defying gravity. Why do they keep walking? Because they don’t realize that the cliff they walked over stands for the end of art criticism. That’s what I have been doing now for over 20 years.

Is it possible to be a professional art critic anymore?

It is possible. What I say might sound simplistic to some, but I will say it nevertheless: Just experience art with passion. Learn as much as you can (even if in the end you reject what you have learned), and keep your eyes open. Also, write well, so people can enjoy your texts. I hope that my example proves that such an approach can work.

October 18

雙年展論壇主視覺October 4, 2014

InviteJanuary 2, 2014 included this (about the school where I taught for so many years) among “10 art disasters” of 2013:

#6 — Cooper Union’s Losing Battle

One of the art works created by Free Cooper Union activists during their occupationin Dec 2012. (via Free Cooper Union)

One of the art works created by Free Cooper Union activists during their occupationin Dec 2012. (viaFree Cooper Union)

2013 will forever live in infamy for Cooper Union, the year the storied East Village college finally squandered its founder’s hundred-year-old promise of full, merit-based, tuition. Though the causes — almost every conceivable type of financial mismanagement and institutional malfeasance short of outright fraud — have by now been thoroughly excavated, the blame remains unassigned, at least officially: in response to the return of “50%” tuition, a vigorous culture of student-led activism has pervaded the school. These efforts have been led by the mediagenic Free Cooper Union group, an amalgam of students fighting against the imposition of tuition chiefly drawn from the art and architecture schools (students at Cooper’s engineering school, whose alumni dominate the board of trustees, have been noticeably more silent). Free Cooper Union’s bold actions, from a lengthy occupation of college president Jamshed Bharucha’s office, to staging a renegade year-end show of dissident artworks, to appropriating nearby street art, to playfully reenacting a leaked Board of Trustees meeting transcript, demonstrate that there remains at least one stronghold in Manhattan for serious projects inside that hazy interstitial zone between art and politics. —MH

November 8, 2012

Artistic Fictions / Fictional Artists

Thursday, November 15, 2012 – Saturday, November 17, 2012

Printed Matter
192 Books
Instituto Cervantes

New York Public Library

All events are free and open to the public.

New York City (various locations)

The 9th annual New Literature from Europe Festival in New York focuses on the relationship between literature and the other arts, offering a unique opportunity to encounter European writers from seven countries this year, reading and discussing their work both in English and in the original languages.Literature has been inspired by the visual at least since the epics of Homer, and the lives of artists have been the subject of the novel since the dawn of the genre in the Nineteenth Century. The 2012 New Literature from Europe Festival asks why European writers are writing about art, about artists, and about the art world today. What does this art about other arts reveal about the creative process? Why are contemporary novelists using painting or music as a link between present and past, or even as a means for conjuring the dead? What can be revealed when one art form is refracted through another art form? Are we seeing a resurgence of Surrealism in the wake of 9/11, in which the world now seems Surreal or virtualized? Has our reality become fragmented? Is there a clear line between fiction and critical thought? In the work of the authors participating in this year’s festival the conclusions are both serious and satirical and range from a feminist exploration of the lives of women artists across time, to the story of a man who can’t stop painting his deceased daughter, an illustrated work about a New England spirit medium at the dawn of photography, a surrealistic novel about a novel called The Bulgarian Truck, a mystery surrounding an exhibition of African art in Liverpool, and a skewering of the art market that asks whether the art world just takes itself too seriously. Poland will be represented by writer and scholar Agnieszka Taborska, author of The Dreaming Life of Leonora de la Cruz(tr. Danusia Stok, Midmarch Arts Press, 2007). The 2012 Festival marks Poland’s third appearance at this annual event. The featured book she will be presenting is her forthcoming work in Polish The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks (Niedokonczone zycie Phoebe Hicks, Gdansk: slowo/obraz terytoria, 2013. Excerpts tr. Ursula Phillips for NLE 2012). These two volumes are Taborska’s contemporary experiments in surrealism and a collaboration with American collage artist Selena Kimball, in which image and text join in parallel narratives. She will also be reading excerpts from her collection of flash fiction, The Whale, or Objective Chance (Wieloryb, czyli przypadek obiektywny, Wolowiec: Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2010).Panel discussions with all authors will be moderated by distinguished Polish-American art critic and writer, Marek Bartelik, who will also read from his own work, Gentle Rain: journal of a nomadic critic (Lagodny Deszcz, Warsaw: Fundacja Twarda Sztuka, 2010).The 2012 participants are:
Austria: Klemens Renoldner
Czech Republic: Monika Zgustova
France: Luc Lang
Germany: Marc Degens
Poland: Agnieszka Taborska
Spain: Ricardo Menéndez Salmón
Romania: Dumitru Tsepenaeg
Moderator: Marek BartelikThe festival is organized by the New York branches of the Austrian Cultural Forum, Czech Center, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Goethe-Institut, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Polish Cultural Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute, and Instituto Cervantes, within the framework of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), in collaboration with the New York Public Library, Printed Matter, 192 Books, NYU Liberal Arts Department, InTranslation and Words without Borders.

More about Marek Bartelik
More about Agnieszka Taborska
Schedule of Events

go to

May 25

ABCA RIO 2012 – 28 a 29 de junho – FCRB




9h30 às 10h

Mesa de Abertura



Drª ANGELA ANCORA DA LUZ (UFRJ), Vice-presidente da ABCA




Drª ANA PESSOA (FCRB), Diretora do Centro de Memória e Informação FCRB


10h às 12h

Conferência Internacional


Mediadora – Drª Lisbeth Rebollo (USP)



14h às 15h30

Mesa 1 – Os múltiplus papéis da crítica de arte no mundo contemporâneo.

Sr Marcus de Lontra Costa (RJ)

Mediadora – Drª Angela Ancora da Luz (UFRJ)

15h às 15h30

Banca Revistas e Livros



16h00 às 17h30

Mesa 2 – A crítica e a prática



Mediadora – Drª Maria Luisa Tavora (UFRJ)





Jantar de adesão


9h30 às 11h30

Mesa 3 – O cenário da crítica de arte no Brasil




Mediadora – Drª Sonia Gomes Pereira (UFRJ)

11h30 às 12h

Banca Revistas e Livros



13h30 às 15h30

Mesa Redonda 4 – Curadores, teóricos, críticos e artistas




Mediadora – Drª Isis Braga (UFRJ)



15h30 às 17h30

Mesa 5 – A crítica de arte e o campo acadêmico: atualidade no Brasil




Mediadora – Drª Miriam Ribeiro (UFRJ)


Mesa de encerramento


Drª ANGELA ANCORA DA LUZ (UFRJ), Vice-presidente da ABCA


Comissão Organizadora

Coordenação Evento

Prof.ª Drª Angela Ancora da Luz (UFRJ)

Prof.ª Drª  e Produtora Cultural Kenny Neoob (UFRJ)

Prof.ª Drª  Nara Cristina Santos (UFSM)


Camila Luísa da Cunha Silva

Claudio Seichi Kawakami Savaget

Roberto Campaneruti Júnior

Nathalia Giovannini S. Ribeiro

Shannon Botelho

(Acadêmicos Curso História da Arte – EBA/UFRJ)

Projeto Gráfico

Prof. Dr. Marcus Dohmann

Estagiário Thiago Peleteiro

April 23, 2012

Volcano: A Symposium to Discuss and Respond to the Global Crisis

On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May 2012, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Speakers: Maxim Kantor, Stephen Whitefield, Jon Whiteley, Timothy Clark , Antonio Negri, David Priestland, Marek Bartelik, Margaret Drabble, Andrei Konchalovsky, Vittorio Hösle, Timothy Radcliffe, Malise RuthvenJohn Kay, David Ruccio, David VinesDonatella della Porta, Ferenc Miszlivetz, Roger Graef, Will Hutton and Polly Toynbee.

As the current economic crisis unfolds, glib talk of ‘lack of confidence’ has given way to anxiety, fear and anger. But as yet, no common understanding of the nature of the crisis or of its many dimensions has emerged. Clearly, it is an economic and political crisis, but it is also one of the arts and sciences, religion and morality, and as such it poses major challenges to experts in these areas to explain and respond. It is also a broader intellectual crisis, for despite rhetoric about unity – globalisation, shared values and common ideals – we remain divided by disciplines from a language to speak in common about our troubles.

The aim of the symposium is simply to ask intellectuals of many different backgrounds to come together to talk to one another about where we are now, how we got here, and how we can overcome the crisis.

For further information or to book tickets, please email (there is no registration fee).

The symposium is accompanied by an exhibition of oils and graphical works by Maxim Kantor, in the Ashmolean Museum from May 11-13 and also in the Department of Politics and International Relations from May 11- June 7. The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by a reception at the Department of Politics and International Relations on Friday 11 May at 6:30pm. 

April 1, 2012

June 10,

Postsowjetische Kunstmuseen im Zeitalter der Globalisierung

Zeitgenössische Kunst & Institutionen

  • 18.06.-19.06.2010

Internationale Konferenz
Veranstaltet von der UNI Graz in Kooperation mit Kunsthaus Graz.

Freitag, 18.06. & Samstag, 19.06.2010
18.06: 10-18 Uhr, 19.06.: 10-15 Uhr
Die Konferenz findet in englischer Sprache statt.

Nach 1990/91, nach dem abrupten Ende der kommunistischen Kulturpolitik, sahen sich Kunstmuseen im postsowjetischen Raum einer fast unlösbaren Aufgabe gegenüber: Sie hatten mit großen Finanzproblemen, erdrückenden Anforderungen der über Nacht eingeführten Marktwirtschaft und der dringlichen Aufgabe zu kämpfen, sich als Institutionen neu zu positionieren. Gemildert wurde die katastrophale ökonomische Lage durch eine Reihe positiver Errungenschaften – durch ein ungeahntes Ausmaß an künstlerisch-intellektueller Freiheit, offene Grenzen, ungehinderten Zugang zu bis dahin zensierten bzw. unerwünschten Informationen und direkten Kontakt zur westlichen Kunstwelt. Mit dem Ende der von der Partei verordneten Richtlinien konnten neue Kontexte, neue Ordnungen, neue Gebiete erforscht werden. Museen orientierten sich an globalen Trends.

Die interdisziplinäre Konferenz untersucht weltweit erstmals den fundamentalen Transformationsprozess, der auf dem Gebiet der zeitgenössischen Kunst stattfand: Von der legendären Sotheby’s-Auktion (Moskau, 1988), die zur politischen Neubewertung und kommerziellen Wertschätzung einer bis dahin großteils mit politischem Dissens assoziierten Kunst beitrug, über den langen, harten Weg in die Institutionen der Jelzin- und frühen Putin-Ära bis hin zur Förderung der aktuellen Kunst durch die neue ökonomische Elite.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art


Freitag, 18. Juni 2010
Session I: Entering the Global World
10:00 – 13:00
Moderation: Peter Pakesch, Graz

Peter Pakesch, Graz: Begrüßung
Waltraud Bayer, Graz: From Perestroika to the Present – the Process of Institutionalization of Contemporary Art in the Post-Soviet World
Alla Rosenfeld, New York: National Identity vs. Globalization in Contemporary Art: The Russian Dilemma
Marek Bartelik, New York: Dissemination and Reception of New Russian Art on a Global Scale: The Case of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
Mittagspause 13:00 – 14:30

Session II: From Underground to a New Territory of Contemporary Art
14:30 – 18:00
Moderation: Sandra Frimmel, Vaduz

Valerie L. Hillings, New York: Reconciling Two Histories: Post-1953 Official and Unofficial Soviet Art in RUSSIA!
Konstantin Akinsha, Washington DC: Culture Wars: Art vs. Religion in Post-Communist Russia
Yuri Avvakumov, Moskau: Post-Soviet Museum and Exhibition Architecture
Anna Zaitseva, Moskau: Art Institutions 2005-2010: From the Moscow Biennale to Apartment Exhibitions

Samstag, 19. Juni 2010
Session III: Museum Development: Government, Business, People
10:00 – 15:00
Moderation: Marek Bartelik, New York

Nikolai Molok, Moskau: Private or Public: Collectors vs. Museums
Sirje Helme, Tallinn: Museum Politics in Independent Estonia, 1990-2010: A Period for Adaptation
Schlussdiskussion: Sustainable Museum Infrastructure in the Post-Soviet Context, Moderation: Waltraud Bayer, Graz
Englischsprachige Führung durch das Kunsthaus Graz 14:00 – 15:00

Mit Unterstützung von:
FWF, Wissenschaftsfonds
bm.w_f, Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung
Garage: Center of Contemporary Culture

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Kommen!

April 27


Act I: Thursday, April 29

8:30-9:15 – Registration

9:15-9:30 Opening remarks

9:30-10:20 – The Embassy of the Republic of Poland is Proud it Sponsor the Keynote Address:

Daniel Gerould: Witkacy and Conspiracy Theories

10:30-12:00 – Session # 1: Witkacy as an Artist: Within and Against Tradition

Chair: Daniel Gerould

Janusz Degler’s Address & Intellectual Appendix (video)

Anna Żakiewicz: Witkacy – A Lonely Star in the Sky of Polish Art

Mark Średniawa: Discovering Witkiewicz’s Real and Virtual Trails

12:00-13:30 – Lunch sponsored by The George Mason University Polski Department

13:30-15:00 – Session # 2: Witkacy: Portrait of an Artist

Chair: Anna Żakiewicz

Dorota Niedziałkowska: Witkiewicz’s Self-Portraits as Manifestations of the Dandy

Margaret Kosmala Witkiewicz – Father and Son. The Double Portrait

Discussion: Witkacy the Artist

15:15-16:15 – Session # 3: Acting, Directing & Translating Witkacy

Chair: Mark Rudnicki

Daniel Gerould: Translating Witkacy

Kevin Hayes: Witkacy: Acting and Directing! An Polski Practitioner’s Perspective!

19:30 – Staged Reading of In a Small Country House by S.I. Witkiewicz at the Flashpoint, Mead Theatre Lab, 916 G St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20,001th Produced by The Ambassadors’ Theater Group.

Act II: Friday, April 30

9:30-10:20 – The Embassy of the Republic of Poland Is Proud to Sponsor the Keynote Address:

Marta Skwara: Witkacy and Slowacki: Intertextuality! New Revelations!

10:30-12:30 – Session # 4: Witkacy as and Dramatist:  Theatrical Encounters

Chair: Kevin Hayes

Christine Kiebuzinska: Witkacy and Ghelderode: Goethe’sFaust Transformed into a Grotesque Cabaret

Eve Wąchock: Traps of Identity in Witkiewicz’s Dramas’

John Barlow: Witkacy’s Music

Discussion: The Dramatist Witkacy

12:30-14:00 – Lunch

14:00-15:45 – Session # 5: Witkacy as and Novelist: Essential Conversations

Chair: Christine Kiebuzinska

Mark Rudnicki: The Profane and the Sacred in Insatiability

David Goldfarb: Witkacy and the Sublime: The Dominant Woman Reconsidered

Lech Sokol: Witkiewicz’s Existence vs. Particular Conceptions of the Modern Identity (video)

Michal Pawel Markowski: Idle Talk: Witkacy, Heidegger and the Fall of Language

16:00-17:45 – Session # 6: Witkacy as and Philosopher: Origins and Development

Chair: Michał Paulł Markowski

Agnieszka Marczyk: The Witkacy – Cornelius Letters or How to Cure Gout with Transcendental Philosophy

Berczyńska Carolina: The Interplay Between The Only Way Out and Witkiewicz’s Hauptwerk (Video)

Pawel Polit: The Philosophical Marginal Notes of SI Witkiewicz (video)

Mark Bartelik: Witkacy and Warhol

19:30 – Reception Dinner at the Kosciuszko Foundation Washington DC Office sponsored by The Embassy of The Republic of Poland

Act III: Saturday, May 1

10:30-11:45 – Session # 7: Witkacy – The Way Forward

Chair: Mark Rudnicki

Anna Brochocka: 45 Years of the Slupsk Witkacy Collection

Kevin Hayes and Mark Średniawa: Virtual Witkacy

12:00-13:30 – Panel Discussion: Witkiewicz’s Vision of the Relationship Between the Individual and Society

Panelists: David Goldfarb, Kevin Hayes and Marta Skwara

13:30-14:30 – Lunch

14:30-15:00 – Wiktor Grodecki: Insatiability – The Voracious Desire to Adapt Witkacy for the Screen

15:00-17:30 – Film: Insatiability followed by a forum Discussion led by the Director Wiktor Grodecki

17:30-18:00 – Closing Comments

March 14, 2010

77 plakatów/77 Posters (Warsaw: Fundacja Twarda Sztuka, 2010): We want you to enjoy the selection of posters and use them to counter point British film and Polish Art. You will find thoughts of people who care about art, among them Prof. Ian Christie (Birkbeck College ), Prof. Maria Kornatowska (PWSFTViT ), Dr Marek Bartelik (Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Arts ) and Dr Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge ). The album consists of two parts, text as well as images, with 6 chapters each. We invite you into the journey through Polish posters as well as British films, as the whole idea is based on British posters and their Polish counterparts for British films beginning from 1946.

The album consists of 144 pages with
77 color reproductions and it is a limited series of 300.
size: 38 x 27 cm

If you wish to purchase the book, please contact us. We accept:


ISBN 978-83-930435-0-7

November 20

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 6:30pm

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Room 101H (41 Cooper Square), NYC

The creator of the exhibit Rescue Archaeology for the inauguration of the renovated Museum of Modern Art in 2005, Dion used the detritus found in his dig  including rusty razor blades and fragments of limestone cornices  toevoke the old New York displaced by recent construction.  He has also created an installation at the Tate Modern based on an archaeological survey of the Thames riverbank, and exhibitions highlighting, and interrogating, the achievements of nineteenth century American naturalists.  He will speak about the use of archaeology in his artwork.

Short introduction by Professor Marek Bartelik:

Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1985 and received a BFA from the University of Hartford School of Art, Connecticut in 1986. He has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum (2006); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); and Tate Gallery, London (1999). His “Neukom Vivarium” (2006), an architectural life-support system for the eco-system of a fallen hemlock tree—is a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum.

Categorized as a part of the institutional critique generation of the artists who appeared on the national and international scenes in mid 1980s, he observed:

“The artists that work critically about museums are almost divided into two groups.  There are people like Andrea [Freiser], Renée Green, maybe Christian Philip Müller, who really see museums as the site of ideology, that they are so corrupted by power that there is no real way of saving them, there’s no real way of enjoying them, the overwhelming history of inequality and destructive political ideology is too overwhelming. Then there are people like Greg Wilson, David Wilson and myself that do identify with the enlightenment project of the museum and feel like the potential of the museum as a place where one gains knowledge through encountering things is not worth throwing away, there’s still something there, and rather than dynamite the museum, our idea is to make the museum a better place, or more representative, more responsive, more enlightened, more interesting, you know? And so I think that they are very different models… I would say we agree on more than we disagree, but I think there is a kind of fundamental sensibility that is different… Our relationship to museums is not just based on critique, but based on replacing an irresponsible model with a responsible model.”

For his critique, he chooses the natural history and university museums rather than the art or history museums. Number of his works have been described as contemporary wunderkammer, sixteenth and seventeenth-century cabinets of curiosities, with their own specific logic and taxonomy that reach beyond the rational in a manner of the Chinese Encyclopedia quoted by Borges and recalled by Michel Foucault.

“So I say freeze the museum’s front rooms as a time capsule and  open up the laboratories and storerooms to reveal art and science as the dynamic processes that they are.”

Art an science complement each other in his work, but he also observed:

“I understand what we, as artists, get out of it [science], but I’m never really sure what they [scientists] get out of it outside of being interested… I think what we can lend to that discussion is, no matter what we do as artists, the intent there is always to be public, is always to be seen, there is no art without the viewer, the viewer completes the artwork. That’s not necessarily a part of science.”

And stresses playful aspect of art, as well as irony and humor in it. He is drawn to hobbyists and amateurs and himself is a passionate collector of all kinds of objects.

Finally, he is a constant traveler, interested in learning about other cultures.

Finally, a moment of personal archeology: I first came across Mark Dion’s art in Poland in 1992. He participated in a group show “Translations,” curated by Kim Levin, which I reviewed for Artforum (it was my first review in that publication).  When Michelle asked me to introduce Mark’s work this evening, my first thought was “Did I mention his work in my review?”—which I did not remember. I am happy to report that not only I did mention his work, but I praised it for being sensitive to the local context.

November 19

Returning to the CUNY GC

Performance “Ode to a Drone” with Krzysztof Zarebski. ©Photo Zosia Zeleska-Bobrowski

November 6

Monday, Nov 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Polish Futurism: Bruno Jasieñski’s Mannequins’ Ball.

Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for Performa 09.

An evening of Polish Futurist theatre, poetry, manifestoes, and art centered upon a 30-minute contemporary performance piece based on excerpts from Bruno Jasieñski’s avant-garde play Mannequins’ Ball (1930), conceived and directed by American/British theatre director and choreographer Allison Troup-Jensen and her COUNTERPOINT theatre company in collaboration with fashion designers from the Parsons New School of Design.

The evening will also feature additional contributions and interventions by Joanna Warsza, theatre curator and producer at the Laura Palmer Foundation, Warsaw, Marek Bartelik, Professor of Art History, Cooper Union, and installations and an intervention by Polish artist Krzysztof Zarebski, as well as a brief panel discussion moderated by Professor Daniel Gerould, CUNY.

For more details, please visit our website ( ).

Elebash Recital Hall, Graduate Center, CUNY: 365 Fifth Ave at 34th St. Free! First come, first served.IMG_0084

October 13


This was a fascinating event, and so is the exhibition “Pole, Jew, Artist: Identity and Avant-Garde” at the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, up until January 30, 2010.

September 2009

Internacional Seminar:

Contemporary art and art criticism

September, 22,  23 e 24, 2009

The Seminar intends to develop the study of contemporary art and art criticism and to discuss the interdisciplinarity with the field of human sciences

September, 22

2:00 pm – 3:10pm

Round table: Contemporary art and subjective experiences.

Coordinator: Neide Marcondes

Art and City: phantom and trauma

Prof. Dr. João Augusto Frayze Pereira – member of ABCA / AICA – University of São Paulo (IP/USP)

– Hazard and coincidences: Sophie Calle and Grégoire Bouillier

Prof.ª Dr.ª Annateresa Fabris – member of ABCA / AICA – University of São Paulo ( ECA USP)

3:10pm – 4:45pm

Lecture and Debate

Coordinator: Claudia Fazzolari

– Contemporary art and the symbolic context of everyday life

Prof.ª Dr.ª Christine Frérot – member of  AICA-France and Professor of EHESS.

4:45pm – 5:15pm – break

5:15pm – 6:45pm

Lecture and Debate

Coordinator: Verônica Stigger

– Lygia Clark and the paradoxal experiencies

Profª Drª Maria José Justino – School of Music and Fine Arts of Paraná

September, 23

2:00pm – 3:10pm

Lecture and Debate

Coordinator: Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves

– Relations between the criticism and art history in the contemporary reality

Prof. Dr. Marek Bartelik – The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York

3:15pm – 4:45pm

Round table: Contemporary art, criticism and conceptual language: conceptualisms in the art and photograph

Coordinator: Ana Maria Magalhães

– Contemporary art and photograph

Prof.ª Dr.ª Helouise Costa – Member of ABCA – Professor of University of São Paulo – Museum of Contemporary Art

– Art, Archives and Utopies

Prof.ª Dr.ª Cristina Freire – Member of ABCA – Professor of University of São Paulo – Museum of Contemporary Art

4:45pm – 5:15pm – Break

5:15pm  – 6:45pm 17h15 ás 18h45

Lecture and Debate

Coordinator: Daisy Peccinini

– Contemporary art and the new technologies

Prof.ª Dr.ª Margarida Schultz – University of Chile

September, 24

2:00pm – 3:10pm

Lecture and Debate

Coordinator: Elvira Vernaschi

– Boards between art criticism and contemporary art.

Prof. Dr. Lars Saari – member of AICA / Finland e Professor of University of Turku

3:15pm  – 4:45pm

Round table: Contemporary art and its diffusion

Coordinator: Ana Cristina Carvalho

– Web art

Profª Drª Maria Amélia Bulhões – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

– Contemporary art and the biennials

Prof. Dr. Fábio Magalhães – Member of ABCA e AICA

4:45pm – 5:15pm – break

5:15pm – 6:15pm

Lecture and Debate


– Art strategies to think the global-local relation

Profª Drª Ivonne Pini – National University of Colombia

May 2009

Cooper Union, old building, new building.


pic_0318June 5

Rebels, Martyrs and the Others: Rethinking Polish Modernism

An international conference, part of the POLSKA! YEAR in the UK (May 2009 – May 2010), organised by the School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck, University of London, in partnership with Tate Britain, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the Institute of Art History, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

12-13 June 2009

School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media

Birkbeck, University of London

Confirmed Speakers: Zygmunt Bauman (University of Leeds) Agnieszka Morawinska (Zacheta National Gallery of Art), Steven Mansbach (University of Maryland), Maria Poprzęcka (Warsaw University), Marek Bartelik (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York), Anna Brzyski (University of Kentucky), Jan Cavanaugh (University of Oregon), Ella Chmielewska (University of Edinburgh), Krzysztof Cieszkowski (Tate Britain), David Crowley (Royal College of Arts, London), Stanisław Czekalski (The Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Tomasz Gryglewicz (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), Kris Van Heuckelom (Leuven University), Jeremy Howard (University of St Andrews), Maria Hussakowska (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), Agata Jakubowska (The Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Dominic Janes (Birkbeck College), Piotr Juszkiewicz (The Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Piotr Kopszak (The National Museum in Warsaw), Irena Kossowska (Institute of Art of the Polish Academy, Warsaw),Dorota Ostrowska (Birkbeck College), Alison Smith (Tate Britain), Joanna Sosnowska (Institute of Art of the Polish Academy, Warsaw), Andrzej Szczerski (Jagiellonian University), Ewa Toniak (Warsaw University), Anna Żakiewicz (The National Museum in Warsaw).

Spring 2009



April 11, 2009

  • Screening at Cooper Union, Monday April, 13, 2PM, Driscoll room (136 Engineering Building).
  • max-bill-poster-bw-2


January 17, 2009

The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor: International Conferencekantor_mestc

January 26, 2009, 2:00-9:00 PM

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

The CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue, at 34 Street, New York, New York 10016

Tel: 212. 817-1860

Panel discussion: 6:30-8:00 PM

Participants: Dore Ashton, Marek Bartelik (moderator), Monika Fabijanska, Norman L. Kleeblatt. Jaroslaw Suchan, and Natalia Zarzecka

Admission free

Polish Cultural Institute and
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center,
CUNYGraduateCenter present


The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor is the first comprehensive presentation in the
U.S. of the work and life of this world-famous “total artist.” It aims to present Kantor (1915-1990), one of the 20th century’s greatest artists, in the full context of his creativity: in both the theater and the visual arts.

Beginning with the presentation of Kantor’s The Desk (1975), one of the major works in the Jewish Museum’s Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust exhibition, continuing with a week of screenings of filmed records of Kantor’s performances at La MaMa E.T.C., the series concludes on January 26, with a one-day International Conference at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center.

Kantor’s work as both theater and visual artist will be discussed by specialists on his work, his collaborators and friends: Dore Ashton,Marek BartelikMonika Fabijanska, Daniel GerouldDavid Gothard,Norman KleeblattMichal KobialkaLudmila Ryba, RichardSchechner, EllenStewartJaroslaw Suchan, and Natalia Zarzecka. Documentary films on the life and work of Tadeusz Kantor will be screened.

Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990) was one of the 20th century’s most innovative visual artists, stage directors, and theoreticians. The breadth and diversity of his artistic endeavors align him with such diverse artists as, for example, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Marcel Duchamp, Vsevelod Meyerhold, Oscar Schlemmer, Antonin Artaud, Jackson Pollock, Jerzy Grotowski, Christo, Allan Kaprow, Peter Brook, or Robert Wilson.

Kantor is to Polish art what Joseph Beuys was to German art, what Andy Warhol was to American art. He created a unique strain of theatre, was an active participant in the revolutions of the neo-avant-garde, a highly original theoretician, an innovator strongly grounded in tradition, an anti-painterly painter, a happener-heretic, and an ironic conceptualist. … His greatness derives not so much from his oeuvre, as from Kantor himself in his entirety, as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk that consists of his art, his theory, and his life. – Jaroslaw Suchan, director of Museum of Art in Lodz, curator of Tadeusz Kantor. Interior of Imagination, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2005

The Jewish Museum’s exhibition Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust continues until February 1, 2009. Kantor’s sculpture, The Desk (1975) – which was created in connection with The Dead Classperformance – is one of the major works in the exhibition, alongside works by Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, and George Segal. Recently purchased by The Jewish Museum, it is the first of Kantor’s works to enter a major American museum collection.

Monday, January 26

2:00-3:30 PM – Film Screening
Tadeusz Kantor – The Inspired TyrantTadeusz Kantor. Natchniony Tyran, documentary, dir.
Andrzej Bialko, Germany/Poland, 1997, 39 min., in Polish with English subtitles
Kantor is HereKantor ist Da, documentary, dir. Dietrich Mahlow,
Germany, 1968, 46 min., in German with English subtitles

4:00-5:30 PM – Panel: Tadeusz Kantor. The Art of Theater
Daniel Gerould, Lucille Lortell Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNYGraduateCenter – Moderator
David Gothard, Theatre Director; Associate Artist, The Abbey Theatre,
Michal Kobialka, Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance,
University of Minnesota
Ludmila Ryba, Actress; Member of Kantor’s theatre company CRICOT 2 (1979-1992) and Compagnie du Singulier (1995-present)
Richard Schechner, University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies, TischSchool of the Arts, New YorkUniversity; Editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies
Ellen Stewart, Director, La MaMa E.T.C., New York (to be confirmed)

5:30-6:30 PM – Break

6:30-8:00 PM – Panel: Tadeusz Kantor. The Theater of Art
Monika Fabijanska, Director, Polish Cultural Institute in
New York – Introduction
Marek Bartelik, Co-President, AICA USA, and Vice President, AICA International (International Association of Art Critics); Adjunct Professor of Art History, Cooper Union, New York – Moderator
Dore Ashton, Professor of Art History, Cooper Union,
New York.
Norman L. Kleeblatt, Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator, The Jewish Museum,
New York
Jaroslaw Suchan, Director,
Museum of Art in Lodz, Poland; Curator of Tadeusz Kantor. Interior of Imagination, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2005
Natalia Zarzecka, Director, Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA,
Krakow, Poland

8:00-9:00 PM – Reception

Special thanks to the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA in Krakow.

2 PM – 9 PM

at The
Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street, New York, NY

Tickets: Free. First come, first served basis
Tel: 212.817.1860

Dead Class

Tadeusz Kantor, The Desk, 1975. Wooden desk, mannequin, and mixed media. From the collection of The Jewish Museum in New York. Photo: Marek Gardulski

Tadeusz Kantor and participant bios:

December 20, 2008 (forthcoming)

Rebels, Martyrs and the Others: Rethinking Polish Modernism (Preliminary version)

International Conference organised by Birkbeck College, University of London in partnership with Tate Britain, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw and the Institute of Art History, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

11 – 13 June 2009


  • Professor Francis Ames-Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Birkbeck College, London
  • Dr Simon Shaw-Miller, Birkbeck College, London
  • Dr Nigel Llewellyn, Tate Britain


  • Dr Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Birkbeck College, London
  • Dr Andrzej Szczerski, Jagiellonian University, Kraków


  • Dr Agnieszka Morawińska, Director of the National Gallery of Art Zachęta, Exhibiting Polish Modernism
  • Professor Steven Mansbach, University of Maryland, title tba
  • Professor Zygmunt Bauman, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds, tba


  • Professor Wojciech Bałus, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, ‘The narrative structure of Polish Painting of the Young Poland Movement’
  • Professor Marek Bartelik, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY, ‘Witkacy and Warhol: the Firm and the Factory’
  • Professor Anna Brzyski, University of Kentucky, Ohio,  ‘Revolution of Reformation’
  • Dr Jan Cavanugh, University of Oregon, title tba
  • Dr Ella Chmielewska, University of Edinburgh, title tba
  • Krzysztof Cieszkowski, Tate Gallery, London, ‘Theatre as Theatre’ (on Kantor)
  • Elizabeth Clegg, freelance art historian, London, title tba
  • Dr David Crowley, Royal College of Art, London, Futurology and Polish Modernism, title tba
  • Dr Stanisław Czekalski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, tba
  • Professor Tomasz Gryglewicz, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, tba
  • Dr Kris van Heuckelom, University of Leuven, ‘The Pictorial Turn of Bruno Schulz’
  • Dr Jeremy Howard, University of St Andrews, ‘Surely Schools: The Marginalisation (or otherwise) of educational architecture and imagery in Polish art histories’
  • Dr hab. Agata Jakubowska, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, ‘Ołowska/Stryjeńska – repainting history of women artists’
  • Dr Dominic Janes, Birkbeck College, London,  ‘The Queer Catholicism of Jan de Rosen in Washington’
  • Piotr Kopszak, The National Museum in Warsaw, presentation at the exhibition
  • Professor Irena Kossowska, Institute of Art of the Polish Academy, Warsaw, ‘Modernism and Old Masters: Wanda Komorowska and Margit Sielska’
  • Professor Jerzy Malinowski, Mikolaj Kopernik University Toruń,  ‘Interpretations of history in art of Polish-Lithuanian-Jewish borderlands’
  • Dr Ursula Philips, SSEES/University College London, ‘Feminist reassessment of Mickiewicz’s legacy in Polish culture’
  • Professor Maria Poprzęcka, University of Warsaw,  ‘Conformists, Hedonists and the Others’
  • Alison Smith, Tate Gallery, London, ‘British and Polish aestheticism’: presentation at the exhibition
  • Dr hab. Joanna Sosnowska, Institute of Art of the Polish Academy, Warsaw, title tba
  • Dr Andrzej Szczerski, Jagiellonian University, London

Presentation at the exhibition and Round Table

  • Ewa Toniak, freelance art and cultural historian, Warsaw,  ‘Beyond pain principle: some remarks on Anna Baumgart’s “Warrior”’
  • Dr Anna Żakiewicz, The National Museum in Warsaw, ‘Reading Stevenson: Duality of Personality in Witkacy’s Early Portraits’

Invited CHAIRS:

Dr Dorota Ostrowska, Birkbeck College, University of London

Dr Sarah Wilson, The Courtauld Institute


Liz Drew – Birkbeck Photo Unit

Nick Lambert, Birkbeck, Principal Investigator

Kamila Kuc – Birkbeck PhD student


Opening of the conference (for speakers and sponsors):

11 June, Tate Britain Galleries and Research Unit, 5 pm

12-13 June, Birkbeck College, Bloomsbury Campus, Malet Street, Bloomsbury
London WC1E 7HX

Conference website

To be designed by Birkbeck School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media

Link on Tate Britain webpage………………………………


11 June, 5 pm, Tate Britain – for speakers and sponsors only

12 June, 8 pm  Charlotte Hotel, Charlotte Street – Conference Dinner

November 2008

American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies

40 National Convention

Philadelphia, November 20-23, 2008

Session: “Commemorating Poland’s Rebirth Ninety Years On: New Interdisciplinary Research”

Chair: Patrice M. Dabrowski, Harvard

Papers: Robert E. Blobaum, West Virginia U, “A Warsaw Snapshot: November 1918”

Zbigniew A. Krszewski, U of Texas, El Paso, “1918 Poland’s Re-established Sovereignty: The U.S. Impact”

Marek Bartelik, Cooper Union, “Models of Freedom: Jewish Women Artists from the Young Yiddish group”

Discussion: Benjamin Paloff, U of Michigan

Nathaniel D. Wood, U of Kansas

School of Art, Yale Class 2003

Yale class--fall 2003

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