Articulate critic/curator Christian Viveros-Fauné has a reputation as a straight-shooter. Here he shows why, laying out his own approach to criticism and evaluating the contemporary art market.
“The middle class in the art world is where the experimentation starts. It’s a great breeding ground for ideas. It’s the actually fundamental part of the larger art ecology and we’re living through a period where, just like in the larger economy, it’s basically being sunk. I find that a problem.”
Christian Viveros-Fauné is an art critic, a freelance curator working primarily with art fairs, biennials, and institutions, and a former gallery director. Viveros-Fauné was born in Santiago, Chile, and raised both there and in the United States. As a university student he majored in English and political science; he first “encountered visual art” while living in Barcelona, Spain during the 1980s. He also began writing art criticism in Spain, first by doing a favor for a busy correspondent friend. Viveros-Fauné moved to Brooklyn in the early 1990s and, with partner Joel Beck, opened the gallery Roebling Hall in 1997. At the time he continued working as a critic, in particular for the New York Press. Roebling Hall became known as a cutting-edge venue and, in 2004, opened an additional ground floor space in Chelsea. Four years later, however, the gallery closed, as Viveros-Fauné realized that he would rather be a full-time arts writer and curator than a gallery owner or dealer. He began writing for the Village Voice, a position that he has held since with the exception of a hiatus when he served as the managing director of the art fairs VOLTA NY in New York and NEXT Art Fair in Chicago.
As a critic, Viveros-Fauné has written for a large number of publications, including Art in America, artnet, Artnews, Art Papers, ArtReview, The Art Newspaper, El Mercurio, Frieze, Lapiz, La Tercera, New York Press, La Vanguardia, Life & Style, Quien, The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, and the Village Voice. In 2010 he received Creative Capital’s Arts Writers Grant and in 2010-2011 he served as the inaugural Critic-in-Residence at the Bronx Museum of Art and as a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale School of Art. As a curator, Viveros-Fauné has worked on such projects as Ricos y Famosos: Young Chilean Art in a New Millenium (Museo de la Solidaridad, Santiago, Chile); BQE (White Box Gallery, NY); Armando Morales (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Mexico); L Factor (Exit Art, NY); Yishai Jusidman: Paintworks (Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico), Plain Air: Extraordinary Landscapes (2nd Canary Island Biennial, Tenerife, Spain), Spasticus Artisticus (Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK); Dirty Kunst (seventeen gallery, London, UK); and, with Jota Castro, Dublin Contemporary 2011 (Dublin, Ireland).