Yesterday, Artnet closed its online magazine, which was almost certainly the first and longest-running art publication on the Internet. Walter Robinson had run the periodical for its entire existence, after leaving Art in America, where he served as a writer and editor for years. Below, a few of the responses that have come in from various members of the art world. As we receive more reactions, we will update this post.
Edward Winkleman, a Chelsea dealer who also publishes a popular blog, wrote this morning:
My morning surfing of the arts publications won’t be quite the same now. I will sorely miss the smart, approachable, and authentic voice of Artnet’s magazine….I’m personally no fan of the compassionless approach to the art world that Skate’s Sergey Skaterschikov is known for…
In a post on New York‘s website Jerry Saltz calls the magazine “the best, most effervescent, no-bullshittiest art site around.” He had republished his writing on the site for years and adds.
I loved every second of it….Mostly because of the way that Walter edited and oversaw Artnet. No jargon. No unbearably long multi-footnoted, almost unreadable art-historical pieces — except all the ones by Donald Kuspitt, whom Walter loved and defended. Then there was Charlie Finch, a planetoid unto himself, the writer whom everyone read.
Art dealer Kenny Schachter, who occasionally contributed to Artnet, took to Facebook:
The plug has prematurely been pulled on Artnet mag after 16 years under the helm of the endearing Walter Robinson…. Though I sensed a little something had died in Artnet of late, I certainly didn’t want the demise of such a lively, relevant, early adapting and vital organ of the art world as we know it today. I’ve woken up to Artnet for most of its 16 years of existence before coffee, [adding that he will miss] the always super informative news section, the dear and cuddly (and hilariously sarcastic) Walter and even the mess that is Charlie.
Blogger Tyler Green summed up his reaction in less than 140 characters on Twitter:
I’m sure it’s sad to see Artnet mag go, but let’s not pretend that it was journalism. A clubhouse of sorts, yes.
As we reported yesterday, Charlie Finch says that he is retiring from the art world, and filed one last column, which is even more concise than his typical article. It reads, in part:
Nothing lasts forever, but it is a shame that, at the point at which Artnet Magazine’s content is more comprehensive and lucid than ever, that it will disappear. I’ve worked with Walter Robinson for 15 years. Everything you read about him is true, he’s a gentleman, the art world loves him, he’s a brilliant painter, he’s the best editor of his generation, and he will land on his feet.
After sending out a note yesterday about the closure of the magazine, Mr. Robinson signed off last night with a photograph of downtown Manhattan from the Artnet offices that he published to his Instagram account.