2017 Critic-in-Residence: Brane Kovič

Wednesday, November 1 to Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Art Critic Residency Program was established by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2015 to advance visual arts criticism and journalism in the development and appreciation of contemporary art in New Brunswick. To date, the Gallery has featured Edgar Allen Beem, an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine and former art critic for Maine Times and the Portland Independent, and Stephanie Buhmann, a New York/Berlin art critic whose recent books include “New York Studio Conversations: Seventeen Women Talk About Art” and “Berlin Studio Conversations – Twenty Women Talk About Art”. During their residencies, both  Beem and Buhmann visited several New Brunswick artists in their studios, gave a public talk or moderated a panel discussion, gave an art writing workshop, and wrote an article on their observations/insights on the province’s art scene for the Gallery’s visual arts journal “Billie: Undercurrents in Atlantic Canadian Visual Culture”.

For 2017, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Art Critic Residency Program will feature independent art critic and curator Brane Kovič from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Along with extensive experience working  with many museums and galleries in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere, Kovič has lectured at several universities and presented papers at various international congresses and symposia, including in Rennes, Barcelona, Dublin, Vienna, Madrid, Paris, Strasbourg, Belgrade, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik. He has written major essays and monographs on many national and international contemporary artists and photographers, including Giorgio Celiberti, Jeanloup Sieff, Helmut Newton, Jannis Kounellis, Ivan Picelj, Sam Taylor-Wood, David Tremlett, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Sergio Colussa, Paolo Minoli, Kazumasa Mizokami, and Vladimir Veličković, and has contributed numerous articles and reviews for daily papers, art magazines and other media.

Kovič studied Art History and French at the University of Ljubljana, aesthetics at Université Paris I Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and semiotics at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He is fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Croatian and Serbian, and also speaks German and Portuguese.

For seven years, Kovič regularly organized and curated an international workshop in Medana, Slovenia, which involved the participation of artists and critics from various parts of the world, and since 1915 has been involved in Art Circle — Cultural Embassies Project. In 1992, he was co-founder of AICA (International Association Art Critics) Slovenia and was elected its first president. Since then, he has been involved in the work of AICA’s Administrative Council and its commissions; has participated in most AICA congresses during the last 25 years, and served as AICA’s vice-president (2004-2007) and its International’s Secretary General (2010-2014). In 2005, he organized the highly successful annual AICA Congress in Slovenia (Ljubljana & Piran).

Kovič studied Art History and French at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; aesthetics at Université Paris I Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; and semiotics at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Fluent in many languages, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Croatian and Serbian, he also has a fair knowledge of German and Portuguese, and has translated books and essays on art, photography and cinema by authors Roland Barthes, Michel Chion, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Pierre-Jean Amar, Danièle Granet & Catherine Lamour, Gianni Rondolino, Briony Fer, and others.

Kovič’s residency in New Brunswick will take place from Wednesday, November 1 to Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Along with visiting artists in their studios, he will be a participant in “Going Critical “, a multidisciplinary Forum aimed at engaging critical art discourse in the Atlantic region.  The Forum is organized by ArtsLink NB and scheduled to take place in Sackville, NB, from November 3 to 5.

This program is organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and made possible with a grant from the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation.