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." Flash Art extensively covered the Arte Povera artists in the 1960s, before they became known in the English speaking world.
Flash Art acquired 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.
In 1977 the Committee for the Visual Art and the Artists Space in New York hosted the exhibition “Pictures”. On this occasion Flash Art published texts by Douglas Crimp and artists Thomas Lawson and David Salle, highlighting the birth of the Pictures Generation. In 1979 Flash Art split into two editions: Flash Art International and Flash Art Italia. 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.
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. 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).
- Tony Stankus, Journals of the Century, (Haworth Press, Philadelphia, 2002): p. 125. ISBN 0-7890-1134-4
- Suzaan Boettger, Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2002): p. 261. ISBN 0-520-24116-9
- 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
- David Rimanelli "Time capsules: 1980-1985 - Calendar," Artforum (March 2003).
- Malcolm Miles and Tim Hall, Interventions (Intellect, Bristol, 2005): p. 42. ISBN 1-84150-118-2