The Generalist: An Afternoon with Roberta Smith

According to the New York Times’ chief art critic Roberta Smith, she only gives one talk and she’s been giving it for the last 30 years. “I give it a new title every so often,” she quipped last week .

Smith’s glibness may appear off-putting, but in person it was anything but. I interviewed her a few hours before her lecture and she began, warmly and playfully, by issuing the same proviso, adding, “so I don’t know what you could ask me that I won’t be talking about later.” There was, it turned out, lots to discuss, with little overlap. Both experiences were riveting and convivial.


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