ARTnews Executive ditor Robin Cembalest is an award-winning investigative reporter who has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and El Pais, in addition to many other newspapers and magazines in the United States and Europe.
Question: How is globalization shaping art?
Robin Cembalest: Well I think, the main thing is that the art world is increasingly international. There are artist who are working in centers that were previously considered outside the Art world places like Pakistan, India. They might have another house in London or they might have another studio in Paris, but they are still living in these places and we are seeing now, I mean there is huge boom in China as everyone knows, there is going to be a boom in India people imagine, there is collectors communities surging in all these places, in Russia, the Middle East, China, India there is interest not only in the art that is coming out of their own countries, but in western art.
Question: How are the roving international art fairs changing art criticism?
Robin Cembalest: Well there is so many biennials now that no one can go to all of them, if you do that is your job, you go to the biennials. There has been some criticism that the biennials, which are kind of passed it as a way to get the art, interact with the city, the local city, and the populous of the city. To me it’s questionable whether are not that happens and how much it happens. I still feel that a lot of them are basically cur aided in a way that is directed more at their colleagues who are going to the other biennials then to the populous of Istanbul or Havana or whatever it is that they are doing these shows. I feel they are speaking to each other in lot of occasions. It’s very hard to write a review of a show that has 200 artists in any case. This case with Venice, this is the case with documental, which at least have general theme. You get to these biennials which also have themes, you really have to find a way that of point of views that not just a list, it’s very hard.
Question: How are artists responding the global art network?
Robin Cembalest: Well, I think what you are seeing more is artist trying to respond to this global network of art fairs, because the other thing we have seen every year, there were more art fairs, every capital has to have an art fair and there has been a lot of commentary on how artist are trying to produce for the fairs, which is actually different work. The work that they are going to produce for these biennials is they are going to find some fabulous historic location and make a site specific work for the location that is going to exist and find that period of time. It might not even be for sale, because there are such turn over at the fairs and because there are such a large percentage of business being done at the fairs by a lot of galleries, their artist were feeling pressured to produce the kind of work that can be shown and sold in the fairs, which occur every 5 minutes.
Question: How do you compare European and American tastes and trends in art?
Robin Cembalest: I think historically in the last 4 years, I would say that certainly conceptual art has been much more widely accepted in Europe than in United States. There are certain artist, for example Joseph Kosut who is a very major conceptual artist, who has a much bigger carrier in Europe than he has in United States. The same thing is true with Laurence Weiner who just had the show at the Whitney, it is huge in your.
Question: What are the hot regions to watch?
Robin Cembalest: I think again everyone is watching China. Everyone is watching India, certainly Russia and the Middle East in terms of the markets we are watching too.