Artnet Magazine, the first online art magazine to be published solely on the internet, is ceasing publication, effective immediately. This difficult decision was an economic one, and reflects the fact that during its 16 years of digital life, the magazine was never able to pay its own way. At present, plans call for Artnet Magazine to remain available in an archive on Artnet.com. Additionally, the French- and German-language publications are also being closed. Artnet wished to thank the many contributors to the magazine in all its versions, and wishes them the best for the future. Walter Robinson, the editor of Artnet Magazine in the U.S., is seeking opportunities elsewhere, as are his editorial staff, news editor Rachel Corbett and assistant editor Emily Nathan.
In an e-mail, Walter Robinson, editor since the beginning of the magazine, stated; “One thing I could add is that Hans Neuendorf gave me a great opportunity 16 years ago when he hired me to help launch the magazine. He pretty much gave me a free hand to develop our special vision of art writing – smart, funny and informative texts on art that had a grounding in social reality, i.e. including pictures of people, and reports on prices, this last something Hans was especially keen on. I always liked to say that you could read an art review in the NYTimes or Art in America – where I worked for 20 years before Artnet – and not even know the damn things were for sale. We liked to mix all that up in Artnet Magazine – art criticism without too much blah blah blah”.
A regular reader wrote; “Its content was free, as is the case with most online content in the art world. It always ran at a loss. But this is hardly a question of content. For 16 years, Artnet founder Hans Neuendorf sponsored the magazine as a personal mission, to attract viewers to the money making parts of the site, like the auction and price database, to give them greater context and visibility. But Artnet magazine was always an indulgence. Yesterday Neuendorf resigned as CEO and handed the company over to his son, Jacob Pabst, who is more bottom line and obviously doesn’t feel the same commitment”.