Eric Gibson

The Overexposed Museum and other Dilemmas in the Art of our Times


In his more than three decades as a critic, Eric Gibson has seen some seismic shifts in the art world—from an “art for art’s sake” culture to one in which art is “bought, sold, traded, and collected more as financial instruments than as objects to admire,” as he puts it. In our lively and wide-ranging discussion, he tells us about his early beginnings as a critic, his time as a go-fer for legendary dealer André Emmerich, and his experiences at The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal, where he is now editor of the Leisure and Arts page. He talks about the critics who most influenced his writing (giants such as Leo Steinberg, Robert Hughes, and Thomas Albright) and what Journal readers expect from writing about art: lively prose and clear-cut judgments.

Gibson’s forthcoming book, a collection of essays called The Overexposed Museum, will touch on some of the topics we discuss in our conversation, including the alarming rise of the “selfie culture.”

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