Penske Media Corporation has acquired Artforum magazine, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
PMC is the parent company of ARTnews and Art in America, as well as more than 20 other media brands, including Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and WWD.
“Artforum’s quality and authority in the art world is unparalleled,” said Penske Media Chairman and CEO Jay Penske. “Over the last 60 years, they have built a culture- and genre-defining brand known around the world, with one of the few insightful global perspectives on art. I have great admiration for the hard work Tony, Danielle, Kate, and David have done to make Artforum such a success. I look forward to a bright future with this very talented team.”
Artforum publisher Danielle McConnell said, “Our highest priority is to maintain the continued legacy of our print publication while ensuring a vigorous digital expansion. We are thrilled to work alongside Jay Penske, who has understood these objectives from the outset. PMC’s media infrastructure will provide dynamic, amplified opportunities for Artforum’s international community of artists, galleries, museums, and other valued partners.”
“I’m proud to have been part of Artforum’s impressive evolution as the leading voice and record of contemporary art during my time as publisher,” said Anthony Korner, longtime publisher and primary owner of the magazine. “As Artforum looks to its next chapter, we have found a strong steward in Jay Penske and PMC. PMC is committed to Artforum’s mission and invested in ensuring the magazine continues to uphold the highest editorial standards in the industry.”
Founded in 1962, Artforum is a leading international magazine focused on contemporary art. In October 2017, longtime editor David Velasco was named editor in chief of the magazine.
Under Velasco’s helm, the magazine has published numerous groundbreaking pieces, including artist Nan Goldin’s 2018 essay on her opioid addiction, which prompted the formation of P.A.I.N., her activist campaign targeting the Sackler family for their involvement in the marketing of Oxycontin. That effort was recently turned into a much-heralded documentary by Laura Poitras. In 2019 Artforum published an essay by Hannah Black, Ciarán Finlayson, and Tobi Haslett about the involvement of Warren Kanders, then cochair of the Whitney Museum board of directors, in the biennial and his fortune’s ties to the production of riot gear and tear gas. The essay has been considered critical to Kanders’s eventual resignation and the Whitney’s decision to cut financial ties with him.
“I look forward to continuing our work with the brilliant writers, artists, and editors who have made this magazine a touchstone for generations,” said editor in chief David Velasco. “I’m confident that PMC is the right partner for Artforum as we deepen our commitment to our community and build new ways to communicate our mission across media.”
This year, Artforum celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special issue in September featuring dozens of contributors from throughout the magazine’s life to “express the discerning eclecticism that excites the magazine’s heart.”
Publisher Danielle McConnell and Associate Publisher Kate Koza will continue to lead Artforum operations, with Editor David Velasco helming editorial initiatives. Longtime publisher and Artforum shareholder Anthony Korner will remain engaged with the publication in an ambassadorial role. Artforum will remain editorially independent of other Penske Media brands, including existing titles ARTnews and Art in America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
PMC was founded by Jay Penske in 2004. In 2018 the company acquired its first art titles with ARTnews and Art in America. Both titles date to the early 20th century: ARTnews being founded in 1902 and Art in America in 1913.