The IAAC’s principal aim is to support thoughtful and imaginative writing about exhibitions of contemporary art, in order to offer a critical perspective on an otherwise gloriously unregulated economy of intersubjectivity and exchange. We believe that economic interests alone (seldom those of the critical reviewer) are insufficient to determine what art is given the opportunity to flourish and represent our complex cultures. We operate the Awards under the assumption that art should have the opportunity and indeed the responsibility to exercise its political and emancipatory potential, and that art criticism has an important supportive role to play in this regard. We acknowledge the value of reflexivity in the formation of critical judgements, but we also seek to foreground the social and cultural impact of art criticism and this means trying to identify the most effective means and platforms through which art criticism might operate.

We do not claim to know how the quality of critical writing can be improved, except through example and debate. The International Awards for Art Criticism stimulate outstanding examples of a wide range of critical writing, and they also provide an expanding platform for debate, via the Web and a growing number of public activities and events. In addition, there is an increasing prospect of processing, publishing and archiving the material that results from this activity.

At the time of the last round of selections for the International Awards in Shanghai in November 2017, the IAAC and its partners at the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and the Royal College of Art arranged three short panel discussions at the University of Shanghai and the Minsheng Art Museum, for invited audiences of students and teachers, writers and competitors, representatives of the media and the general public. We publish below a résumé of some of the points raised in discussion.

We wish to express our deep gratitude to all our friends and partners in this enterprise, to the numerous writers from all over the world who have contributed time and effort to this year’s competition, to our distinguished jurors and, of course, to the artists and curators who have put together the exhibitions that give substance to our endeavour.

Henry Meyric Hughes (Chair), Lewis Biggs (Treasurer), 
Juan Cruz, Ling Min

Board of the International Awards for Art Criticism Ltd. (IAAC), London and Shanghai


国际艺术评论奖(IAAC)的主要目的是支持所有对当代艺术展览有想法、有想象力、有深度的评论写作,从而为当前互为主体性与交流的不受管制的经济体系提供另类的批评性视角。我们相信经济利益本身不足以决定艺术被赋予什么样的机会去繁荣或代表眼下错综复杂的各类文化。IAAC 这一奖项是在下列假设的前提下运行的:我们认为艺术应该被赋予相应的机会并理应有责任去操练其政治的以及解放的潜力,而艺术评论在这方面扮演着相当重要的支持性角色。我们承认在批评性论点形成的过程中,反思具有相当的价值;但我们亦试图强调艺术评论在社会及文化方面的影响力,这意味着尝试去鉴定艺术评论可能产生作用的最有效方法与平台。

除非有足够的实例与辩证,否则我们不会自诩知道评论文章的质量应该如何改进。通过互联网以及数量不断增长的公众教育活动所带来的宣传效应,本奖项不仅吸引了大量投稿,其中不乏优秀之作,还提供了一个广阔的平台以供公众点评。此外,通过连续多年举办 IAAC 这一奖项,我们亦逐年进行相关出版工作,并逐步建立起艺术评论数据库。

2017 年11月,时值本届IAAC最后一轮评选在上海举行之际,组委会与主办方上海民生现代美术馆及英国皇家艺术学院分别在上海大学及上海民生现代美术馆组织了三场小组讨论会,受邀观众包括艺术院校师生、参赛作者、媒体代表以及社会公众人士。本书亦收录了有关这一系列讨论会的精华摘要以飨读者。

最后,我们衷心感谢所有合作伙伴与友人对本届 IAAC 的支持,感谢来自世界各地无数作者贡献大量的时间与精力来参与此次赛事。当然,亦感谢我们杰出的评审团以及为参赛者所评论的众多展览付出心血的艺术家和策展人。