PRINT September 1993

ARTFORUM ’62–’79

He Was a Great Editor

PHIL LEIDER'S TENURE at Artforum corresponded with a period of transition and upheaval in the art world. The ’60s were the decade that marked the beginning of the end of Modernism. Even though Clement Greenberg was still making predictions and pronouncements in catalogues, his influence and relevance were finished. He lost his critical credibility for good when it was rumored that he wanted to spruce up some of David Smith’s sculptures, after Smith’s death, by painting them. It was also obvious by that time that Caro’s and Olitski’s sculptures and the Color Field painters were not going to carry the day. Artforum moved from L.A. to New York in 1967, and Leider immediately began to publish the first writings of Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, and Sol LeWitt. In issue after issue he followed the emerging work of a new generation: Carl Andre, Don Judd, Eva Hesse, Bruce Nauman, Michael Heizer, Yvonne Rainer, Keith Sonnier, Richard Tuttle, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Chuck Close, Claes Oldenburg, Alan Saret, and Joseph Kosuth among others. More than any other voice or venue, Artforum substantiated the break in American culture in the late ’60s. And it was largely thanks to Phil Leider.

Richard Serra is an artist who shows regularly at Gagosian Gallery, New York.