29 February 2024, 6:00pm
UKS, Keysers gate 1


Please join us on Thursday 29 February at 6pm for the fourth iteration of UKS’ event series COMMUNE – moulding the new UKS spaces in Keysers gate 1 into an artistic, theoretical and social meeting place with the help of a variety of local and international agents from the arts and cultural spheres.

This evening, Berlin-based art critic and professor of art history Isabelle Graw joins us for a conversation on her latest book, On the Benefits of Friendship (Sternberg, 2023), in the UKS workshop room. Through intimate, auto-fictional accounts, Graw poetically examines the complexities of friendships in the art world, pondering and examining their contents – often holding competition and instrumentality, candour and love alike. This book marks a shift in Graw’s oeuvre towards a more experimental form of writing, which includes fictional strategies and narrative writing.

At UKS, Graw will be in conversation with UKS’ Interim Artistic Director Live Drønen, circling the book and its themes from 6pm to 7pm, including audience questions, after which we invite you to hang out until we close at 8pm. The UKS Minibar will be open! The event is free and open to all.




Isabelle Graw lives and works as an art critic in Berlin. She is Professor of Art History and Art Theory at the Städelschule and, together with Daniel Birnbaum, founded the Institute for Art Criticism in summer 2003, which focuses on the practice of criticism and its manifold relationships to other disciplines. Together with Stefan Germer, she founded quarterly magazine Texte zur Kunst in Cologne in 1990. In 2023, Graw published On the Benefits of Friendship (Sternberg Press). Other publications include In Another World (Notes 2014–2017) (2020), The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium High Price (2018). Art between the Market and Celebrity Culture (2010), Texte zur Kunst: Essays, Reviews, Interviews (2011), Thinking through Painting: Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas (co-editor, 2012) and Über Malerei. Eine Diskussion (with Peter Geimer, 2012). In December 2018 Graw was awarded the VW-Stiftung OPUS MAGNUM grant.


*Image above: Hans-Jörg Mayer, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 1991. Cosima von Bonin, Michaela Eichwald, Charlene von Heyl, Jutta Koether and Isabelle Graw. Courtesy Galerie Nagel Draxler, Cologne/Berlin.

Images from COMMUNE: Isabelle Graw on 29 February 2024. Photos by Jan Khür / Studio Abrakadabra

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