International Summer School “WHAT ART WANTS. An introduction to the art world”

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» [email protected]

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Art is a complex social product. It affects the way we look at the world and concerns both the aesthetic and the politic realms. What does it take to be an artist? Who decides what is good and valuable? Which artists are going to last and which are doomed to be forgotten? How the works of art circulate, and how do they make an impact?
Scholars and professionals of the art world convene to Nuoro this July, at the heart of Sardinia, for an immersive course in the basic principles of the art world. During a week of lectures, workshops and seminars, the students will learn about the main agents and rules of the multifaceted cultural, economic and social system we call “art”.

Questioning the power relationship between the artists, the institutions and the market, the school will provide advanced students, artists and young curators with a map and a compass to navigate the art world.
Guest speakers are Andre Buchmann, head of Buchmann Galerie (Berlin and Lugano); David Elliot, curator, writer and professor of Modern and Contemporary art; Martin Engler, Head of Contemporary Art at the Städel Museum Frankfurt; Mark Gisbourne, art writer and independent curator; Pierluigi Sacco, full professor of cultural Economics at the IULM of Milan.
The school is directed and coordinated by Giuliana Altea, professor of Art History at the University of Sassari and president of the Costantino Nivola Foundation and by Antonella Camarda, research fellow at the University of Sassari and director of the Museo Nivola.

What art wants. An introduction to the art world is a summer school organized by the University of Sassari – Department of Humanities and social sciences, the Consorzio per la promozione degli Studi universitari nella Sardegna centrale UniNuoro and Museo Nivola, Orani.

Methodology and Aims

The summer school is an intensive course of five days, including seminars and lectures in the morning, workshops, individual study and social and leisure activities in the afternoon, including visits to local museums and cultural institutions. Conversations and discussions play an important role to ensure participation and exchange of ideas.
The schools welcomes participants from all over the world, to create a multicultural and vibrant learning environment. All the classes are taught in English.
One afternoon will be devoted to the Museo Nivola in Orani, with a guided visit to the permanent collection and the exhibition of Lawrence Weiner Attached by Ebb and Flow.
Set at the heart of Sardinia, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Nuoro is the perfect starting point to explore the rich pre-historical heritage of the island and the wild, beautiful nature of woods and beaches.

During the week the participants will

1 Acquire knowledge on the art world
to professionally operate in it.

2 Create or strengthen a network
of relationships among young artists,
curators and museum professionals.

3 Discover and enjoy Sardinia
in the most beautiful time of the year.

Target group

Post-graduate art and humanities students, artists, curators, critics and museum professionals. The course will host 10 to 20 participants.
Application from undergraduate students will be considered discretionally.
The selection process will promote gender and cultural diversity.

Fee and benefits

The early bird application fee is 150 euros (before 15/06/19). Regular fee is 200 euros. The fee includes a trip to the Museo Nivola with a dinner party, free local transports, free entrance to museums, gym and swimming pool.
Accommodation in a 3 star hotel can be provided at the discounted rate of 300 euros. (double room, half board).

Scholarships and certificates of attendance

Scholarships to cover the course fee of 200 euros are awarded on discretional basis by the organisation. Students interested in a scholarship should add a motivation letter to their application.
After the end of the course each participant will receive a certificate of attendance (the students of the University of Sassari, department of Scienze Umanistiche e Sociali can claim 3 CFU for complementary learning activities).

Application process

The application form can be downloaded from or Please fill it and send it, along with a copy of your CV in English or Italian to [email protected] not later than the 25/06/2019. Once you receive the notification of acceptance, please procede to the payment of the subscription fee to the Consorzio per la promozione degli Studi Universitari nella Sardegna centrale, Via Salaris 18, Nuoro, IBAN: IT03Y0101517300000070420885, REASON: What is art summer school.

Guest lecturers

Andre Buchmann

Is a gallerist for international contemporary art. Trained at his parents gallery in Switzerland and at Holly Solomon Gallery in New York in the early Nineties he founded the Buchmann Galerie in Germany in 1995, setting up in premises in Cologne. Since 2005 the gallery has been located in Berlin where it has two centrally located exhibition spaces. André Buchmann has been a member of the board of the Cragg Foundation Wuppertal since 2008.

Dr. Martin Engler

Is head of Contemporary Art at the Städel Museum since 2008. He worked as an independent exhibition curator, author, and critic since 1996. He has been lecturing at German and European universities and academies since 1997, most recently at Goethe University and Städelschule, in Frankfurt on the Main, and University Bern, Switzerland. From 2002 to 2008 he was a curator at the Kunstverein Hannover. Aside from publishing on such subjects as avant-garde theory, the interrelation of painting and photography, figurative painting in 1980s, and the photography of the Becher class, he has authored monographic catalogs and published on (amongst others) John Armleder, John Baldessari, Leigh Bowery, Donald Judd, Piero Manzoni, Adrian Paci, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Peter Roehr, Victor Vasarely, and Corinne Wasmuht.

David Elliott

Has directed museums in Oxford (MoMA 1976-1996), Stockholm (Moderna Museet, 1996-2001), Tokyo (Mori Art Museum, founding director 2001-2006), and Istanbul (Museum of Modern Art, 2007). He is currently Vice Director and Senior Curator at the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA) and Arts District in Guangzhou. In 2008-10 he was Artistic Director of The Beauty of Distance: songs of survival in a precarious age, the 17th Biennale of Sydney; in 2011-12 he directed The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: rebirth and apocalypse in contemporary art, the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kyiv; from 2012 to 2014 he was Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Moscow Biennale of Young Art; and from 2014 to 2016 he was Artistic Director of The Pleasure of Love, the 56th October Salon in Belgrade.

Mark Gisbourne

Is an international curator and art writer. He currently lives and works in Berlin. A former twice President of the British Art Critics Association (AICA), he has been the curator of the International Rohkunstbau summer exhibitions (2004-2019). A writer of a dozen or so books, and major museum publications, three hundred catalogue essays, as well as numerous critical articles and reviews, his recent projects include an extensive German Art since the 1960s exhibition Elective Affinties / Wahlverwandschaften, National Museum of Latvia in Riga (2016). Current exhibitions include B.A.R.O.C.K., at Schloss Caputh, Potsdam and the ME Collection in Berlin. In October a major exhibition in HDLU, Kunsthalle of the Artist Associations, Zagreb, Croatia, deals with the recent history and development of painting at Leipzig Art Academy since the 1960s.

Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco

Is full professor of Cultural Economics at IULM, Milan, co-director of the Computational Human Behavior (CHuB) Lab of the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento and Senior Researcher at metaLAB, Harvard. He is Special Adviser of the European Commissioner to Education and Culture, member of the Scientific Committee of Europeana, of the Ministry of Italian Culture for cultural economics and museums, of the Advisory Council on Scientific Innovation of Czech Republic and the Advisory Council of Creative Georgia. He’s senior editor of the section Leisure and Tourism of Cogent Social Sciences. He works internationally in the field of local development and authored more than 200 essays on peer reviewed journals and books.

Scientific directors

Prof. Giuliana Altea

Is associate professor of Art History at the University of Sassari and the president of the Nivola Foundation, Orani (NU). She wrote extensively on Early Century Italian Art and Mid-Century Modernism, and on the role of the decorative in Western art and culture, giving lectures on these topics at several international universities and institutions. She curated around hundred exhibitions on XX century and contemporary art.

Dr. Antonella Camarda

Art historian, is the director of the Museo Nivola in Orani (Nu) and a senior research fellow and lecturer in Contemporary Art and Museology at the University of Sassari. She holds a Ph.D in Art History and Anthropology and a specialization in Psychology of Art. She curated several exhibitions and is the author of essays and books on XX century art, craft and design. A Cooper Union visiting fellow in 2019, she’s currently working on the first extensive Italian monograph on Lawrence Weiner, to be published later this year by Scheidegger & Spiess.


» Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche e Sociali – Università di Sassari
» Consorzio Universitario di Nuoro – UniNuoro
» Museo Nivola
» Provincia di Nuoro
» Comune di Nuoro
» Forestas
» Distretto Culturale del Nuorese – Atene della Sardegna
» Fondazione di Sardegna
» ARS – Arte condivisa in Sardegna