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PRINT April 2003

EDITING THE ’80s: SALAD DAYS

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times—it was a time to eat salad with your fingers. In 1981, INGRID SISCHY, ANTHONY KORNER, and AMY BAKER SANDBACK, the editor and publishers of Artforum, interviewed me for the job of managing editor. They hired another candidate, but we liked each other, and Ingrid soon invited me to dinner. The guests included the film critic David Denby and an apparently wasted Artforum writer who used his fingers to eat oil-and-vinegar-soaked lettuce that drooled down his chin. (“Isn’t he fabulous?” said Ingrid.) Outside afterward Denby huffed, “What is Ingrid coming to! The people she hangs out with!” A week or two later Ingrid’s new managing editor quit, and she offered me the job. I took it right away.

Artforum in the ’80s proved to be more complicated and intense than sedate talk allows—more demanding, challenging, infuriating, and comical, intellectually,

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