A few months ago, on the heels of a merger with BMP Media Holdings, we at ARTnews announced that our magazine would become a quarterly. To many of our readers this understandably may have come as a surprise. After all, ARTnews began life in 1902 as a weekly and went on to become a monthly—and one of the most authoritative (and award-winning) voices in international art journalism. If you are reading this letter, you have cracked open our first quarterly, and we think you will agree with us that we are continuing along that venerable path. We’ve migrated breaking news to our website, so that, in print, we can bring you absorbing features and thoughtful critical essays.
For our first quarterly, we settled on the theme of Icons, extending ARTnews’s long tradition of in-depth artist profiles. (This is, you may recall, the magazine that brought you “Jackson Pollock Paints a Picture,” in 1951.) The five artists we’ve profiled here are ones whose work is, each in different ways, especially relevant to the current moment. With just a few months to go before Mary Heilmann’s big show at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, Linda Yablonsky found out what makes her tick (hint: she was a good Catholic schoolgirl). Andrew Russeth spent an afternoon with Faith Ringgold, who took him back to her 1970s radicalism. Nate Freeman brought Kenneth Anger back to the filmmaker’s old stomping ground, L.A. restaurant Musso & Frank Grill, and braved some unusual Angelenos (human and canine) to get a glimpse of the house where Anger shot Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome in 1954. I visited Kerry James Marshall in his Chicago studio on the eve of a major museum retrospective of his paintings. And M.H. Miller got Lynda Benglis to revisit her groundbreaking early work, and especially her iconic Artforum ad.
Regular readers of our reviews section will notice a major change: we’ve forgone short-form write-ups for longer meditations on single exhibitions and roundups of some of the most important shows in New York and London. (If you are missing those shorter reviews, don’t worry, you can now find them online, where they run while the exhibitions are still on view.) We’ve also given a platform to Berlin-based artist Justin Lieberman and curator Stephanie Weber, to give you their rather unorthodox take on two shows in Germany.
Lastly, I’d like to draw your attention to the front of the book and our new Habitat pages, a spread of photographs of artists’ studios that also has a life online, where each artist will be featured separately. Also in the front of the book, we introduce a new column, “Perspectives,” which will offer different takes on the state of the art world. First up is curator Daniel S. Palmer, who casts a skeptical eye on today’s hyperprofessionalized environment for emerging artists, describing a studio visit that feels, disturbingly, a lot like a business meeting.
Though we, the editors, are just as devoted to bringing you up-to-date news on ARTnews.com, we also recognize that there is an audience today that is hungry for—as Paris Review editor Lorin Stein recently put it in the New York Times—“time alone with the written word.” I hope you enjoy the new quarterly ARTnews.
SARAH DOUGLAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF