May 3, 2010

ArtForum promotes Michelle Kuo to editor

Michelle Kuo and Brian Goldstein at Harvard's Carpenter Center in 2004 where they co-curated "VAC BOS," an exhibition celebrating Le Corbusier and the 40th aniversary of the Carpenter Center. Photo courtesy Harvard University Gazette.

Last week ArtForum announced that Tim Griffin is stepping down as editor to become a roving editor at large. “Editing Artforum has been a fantastic privilege and deeply fulfilling, but I’ve done what I can do in this capacity,” Griffin said. “I’m excited that the publishers share my interest in exploring new possibilities related to the magazine, and that I will also have the opportunity to devote more energy to writing and teaching.” After seven years editing the magazine, Griffin wants to organize symposia and book projects, and produce a special issue of the magazine in autumn 2011. He is also completing a volume of his own critical writing on contemporary art. Michelle Kuo, who has been a senior editor at Artforum since March 2008, has been appointed editor. Kuo, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art and architecture at Harvard University, is the author of numerous articles for Artforum, including essays on the work of Urs Fischer in November 2009 and on the history of fabrication for a special issue on the “Art of Production” in October 2007.

Perhaps Kuo will steer ArtForum in a more reader-friendly direction.

5 comments:

"Perhaps Kuo will steer ArtForum in a more reader-friendly direction."

Hmmm... any reason for optimism here? I would bet against this. On the other hand, it is more readable than October.

I think everyone (except the public) benefits from reader-hostile writing:

1) writers don't have to work as hard to polish their prose

2) conceptually flabby artwork avoids the harsh glare of precise, skeptical scrutiny, but can instead float along on a gaseous plume of five-dollar words

3) academics get to seem cool by publishing in an art magazine

4) artists and dealers get to seem smart by engaging with academics

win-win-win-win!

Her background doesn't suggest she will be painting-friendly.

As Anon says, AF is more readable than October, but that isn't saying much. Readablity is not really the issue at AF, but their focus on social philosophy and acceptance of too much waffling criticism from ignorant or indifferent critics.

Renew that list! we say.

Although I think they're getting better.

AiA has also lifted it's game in the past 6 months, reviews there, a lot sharper (more critical!) than the rather careful description + general social program, than typified reviews under Betsy B.

This may be down to Marcia, may be down to the rising prominence of blogs and online criticism, which has generally been far franker if not harsher, often leaving Jerry, Roberta, et al for dead when it comes to active engagement, lucidity and common sense.

As you point out, Tim is not so much leaving as just moving upstairs, so I don't see Michelle being given all that much freedom to remodel AF, and her own inclinations do not seem especially broad or interesting, to me.

Michelle Kuo is an excellent choice for Editor of Artforum.

I wish her the best of luck!

Richard Heller

Wouldn't it be radical to allow an actual artist to edit an art magazine? No, artists would rather be in control of their own magazine.

I loved that article on Urs Fischer as well as the article on Josh Smith that I just discovered was hers too (via findarticles). Both very practically focused on the processes and affects of making art without too much abstract theory, a good sign...

Some of her work suggests an interest in digital media too, I wonder if this was a call regarding the form of the magazine as well as it's content?

A very pragmatic choice.

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