Flash Art

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Flash Art is a bimonthly magazine focusing on contemporary art. It was founded in Rome in 1967 by Italian publisher and art critic Giancarlo Politi. The magazine has been based in Milan, Italy since 1971. Originally a bilingual publication, it was split in two separate editions, Flash Art Italia (in Italian) and Flash Art International (in English), in 1978 when Helena Kontova joined the editorial team. It also publishes Flash Art Czech & Slovak Edition and Flash Art Hungary.

It has been described as "the confident, international journal of European and North American contemporary art, and features interesting viewpoints on American art from a European perspective."[1] Flash Art extensively covered the Arte Povera artists in the 1960s, before they became known in the English speaking world.[2]


Flash Art acquires a magazine format in 1974. The magazine was published in three languages: Italian, English and French and was divided in two main parts: on the one hand its international side is continuously updated with several sections called Flash Art Italia, England, France, USA and Eastern Europe edited by selective correspondents; on the other hand the editorial staff tries to engage artists in the realization of the magazine.[citation needed]

In 1977 the Committee for the Visual Art and the Artists Space in New York hosted the exhibition “Picture”. On this occasion Flash Art published texts by Douglas Crimp and artists Thomas Lawson and David Salle, highlighting the birth of the Picture Generation.[3] In 1979 Flash Art split into two editions: Flash Art International and Flash Art Italia.[citation needed] In 1980 the editorial board gives increasing attention to the New York art scene: Thomas Lawson reviewed on David Salle at Larry Gagosian Gallery / Nosei-Weber / The Kitchen as well as the famous "Three Cs" (Chia, Clemente and Cucchi) at Sperone Westwater Fisher, helping to bring the central figures of the Transavanguardia to public attention.[4]

Other activities[edit]

Politi, besides the three magazines, publishes different books and catalogues, including Art Diary International, a directory that lists addresses and phone numbers of artists, critics, galleries, and museums. In 1993, Politi published the catalogue of Aperto '93 a section of the Venice Biennale organized by his wife Helena Kontova.[5] Also in 1993, Giancarlo Politi opened the Trevi Flash Art Museum in his hometown, Trevi, which eventually closed due to the lack of public support. In the 2001 Giancarlo Politi started, together with Helena Kontova, the Tirana Biennale in Albania. In 2003 they started together the Prague Biennale in the Czech Republic and they have been the directors of the first six editions (2003-2005-2007-2009-2011-2013).

2011 Internship ad controversy[edit]

In October 2011 Flash Art magazine published an ad on their website,[6] via newsletter and on their Facebook page, for one or more internships with a minimal compensation for a period of eight to ten months. A young woman named Caterina responded to the posting, addressing her complaint to the editor, Giancarlo Politi, asking why one's family should support a person so as to let them work for free for the publication. Her complaint was followed by a brief exchange[7] with Politi, during which she also defended her skills with four languages, arts and desktop publishing. The exchange ended with the editor's response "Caterina, as you can see escorts must now master 4 languages, be skilled in arts and InDesign. Globalization creates miracles".[8] The publication's Facebook page was later targeted by hundreds of comments by people referencing the exchange between the two implying the editor's final note was insulting and allusive of Caterina being a prostitute and also complaining about the apparent misuse of internships.[9][10][11] The magazine's editor later publicly denied the insulting phrase in a posting on their website and on their Facebook page, stating that Caterina had maliciously contorted the mail's content, though an October 18 article on Il Fatto Quotidiano confirmed the insulting exchange publishing the original mail thread between the two.[12]


  1. ^ Tony Stankus, Journals of the Century, (Haworth Press, Philadelphia, 2002): p. 125. ISBN 0-7890-1134-4
  2. ^ Suzaan Boettger, Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2002): p. 261. ISBN 0-520-24116-9
  3. ^ Douglas Eklund (ed.), The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984, exhibition catalogue the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 4/21/09 – 8/2/09, (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2009). ISBN 978-0-300-14892-3
  4. ^ David Rimanelli "Time capsules: 1980-1985 - Calendar," Artforum (March 2003).
  5. ^ Malcolm Miles and Tim Hall, Interventions (Intellect, Bristol, 2005): p. 42. ISBN 1-84150-118-2
  6. ^ "Flash Art cerca sempre stagista per Assistente di Redazione". Flash Art. Giancarlo Politi Editore. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Si vergogni - mail thread between Caterina and Giancarlo Politi". Il Fatto Quotidiano. Editoriale il Fatto S.p.A. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Imprenditore dà della mignotta a una disoccupata in cerca di lavoro". Lettera Viola – il magazine del popolo viola. Lettera Viola. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  9. ^ ""MIGN...A" A DISOCCUPATA. FLASH ART INSULTATA SU FB". Leggo. Caltagirone Editore S.p.A. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Flash Art Magazine". Flash Art Magazine Facebook page. Facebook, Inc/Flash Art Magazine. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Imprenditore dà della mignotta a una disoccupata in cerca di lavoro". Lettera Viola – il magazine del popolo viola. Lettera Viola. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Indignata per stage gratis, le danno della mignotta. "All’estero ho un contratto vero"". Il Fatto Quotidiano. Editoriale il Fatto S.p.A. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 

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