Aica International

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At the end of the 1940s, at a time when many art schools and movements were founded, art critics, historians and educators, as well as modern art museum curators, met at two UNESCO conferences (1948 and 1949).

The purpose of these conferences was to compare points of view about the role played by art criticism, and to analyse its responsibility towards artists and the public, while considering how art history had evolved. They were attended by individuals from all over the world, including figures as prestigious as André Chastel, Jorge Crespo de la Serna, Pierre Courthion, Charles Estienne, Chou Ling, Miroslav Micko, Sergio Milliet, Marc Sandoz, Gino Severini, James Johnson Sweeney, Albert Tucker, Lionello Venturi, Eduardo Vernazza, Marcel Zohar, Paul Pierens and Herbert Read, among others.

Following on from these UNESCO international conferences, AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art – International Association of Art Critics) was founded in Paris in 1950, and in 1951 it was recognised as a non-governmental organization.

Today AICA comprises many specialists committed to developing international cooperation in the field of artistic creation, as well as cultural promotion and development.

AICA comprises around 4,000 art professionals, hailing from about 70 countries, and organised into 62 National Sections and an Open Section, which was created to facilitate the inclusion of people from countries where there is no freedom of expression, or where there isn’t an organised national section. AICA is particularly prominent in Europe, Australia, North America, South America and the Caribbean. It also has very active sections in the Middle East and Asian countries (Israel, Singapore, Japan, Hong-Kong, Pakistan), as well as various African sections which were founded more recently.

In the last 50 years AICA’s annual conferences have been held in places as diverse as the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo, as well as in Europe. The most recent ones were hosted in Dakar (2003), Istanbul (2003), Addis Ababa (2006), Cape Town (2007) Skopje (2009) and Turkey/online (2021).



AICA’s goals have changed little throughout the years. However, in november 2003, they were redefined, in order to emphasise the association’s global breadth, its cross-cultural aspirations and its interdisciplinary approach. As currently stated, AICA’s main objectives are:

  • To support and promote art criticism;
  • To promote art criticism as a discipline and contribute to implement its methodology;
  • To protect the ethical and professional interests of its members and co-operate in defending their rights;
  • To maintain an active international network for its members with the aid of available technologies, while simultaneously encouraging face-to-face contact;
  • To contribute to mutual understanding of visual arts and aesthetics in all cultures;
  • To stimulate professional relationships across political, geographical, ethnic, economic and religious boundaries;
  • To promote and defend impartiality in freedom of expression and thought, and to oppose arbitrary censorship.