PRINT September 1993

*ARTFORUM ’80 - ’93*

ARTFORUM ’80 - ’93

Three decades in a magazine’s life can see a number of professional generations come and go. No one now at Artforum worked here with Phil Leider, let alone with John Irwin, or even, for that matter, with Coplans or Masheck. The longest-lasting Artforum staffer must be Tanya Weinberger, who arrived as a secretary in 1966 and went on to handle production. Tanya’s home was upstate. She would arrive on the premises monthly via Greyhound bus, unroll the sleeping bag she kept in a closet, and live in the office for the ten days or so of paste-up. This undoubtedly illegal arrangement lasted to everyone’s convenience until Tanya left, to make animated films, in the summer of 1982. Since then we’ve been on our own.

Just who this “we” is, of course, is as flexible and transitory as the idea of “the old Artforum.” For most of the ’80s “we” was Ingrid Sischy, who recently rehashed issues and goals with the magazine’s current editor, Jack Bankowsky. Writer Lisa Liebmann describes the discipline of Artforum work during the Sischy period; it seems she was a sort of éminence grise of those years. And Sischy’s successor, Ida Panicelli, talks to Alessandra Mammi about the magazine she inherited and the direction in which she guided it.

Approaching the magazine’s changing identity from another side, writers write about writing. Barbara Kruger describes how commentary comments, Thomas McEvilley analyzes how Artforum itself has done the job. Thomas Crow supplies a historical overview of criticism and Artforum’s role in it. We are scolded by Stuart Morgan, who raises the issue of communication on an international scale. Critics have often been urged to get back to looking at pictures; Richard Flood takes the suggestion to heart, and goes to the movies. Glenn O’Brien, meanwhile, moves the debate out of the academy and into stand-up comedy, a giant step to and fro.

The various publishers of Artforum have enabled the magazine to survive through all controversies, successes, and adversities. Finally, then, Anthony Korner, publisher of Artforum far the last 14 years, recalls some of the high points of his time here, and graciously omits the low ones. And Amy Baker Sandback, who has filled a number of posts on the publishing side since 1979, recalls the part of the job that she loved most: looking at art.