In light of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan last month, Artforum co-publisher Knight Landesman has resigned from his post at the magazine. Landesman was with Artforum for more than three decades.
The harassment suit was filed by a curator who began working at Artforum in 2009. It alleges Landesman engaged in a pattern of harassing behaviour over the course of multiple years, repeatedly groping the plaintiff, as well as sending her a litany of lewd text messages and emails.
In response to Landesman stepping down, the other three Artforum publishers, Anthony Korner, Charles Guarino and Danielle McConnell, have released a statement that says, among other things, “We we will use this opportunity to transform Artforum into a place of transparency, equity, and with zero tolerance for sexual harassment of any kind.” But that statement contrasts with the fact that the plaintiff notified these very individuals of the harassment, and provided detailed, explicit proof, more than a year ago, and they failed to act. The question the art world is asking now is whether more resignations should follow. After all, where does culpability end – with the harasser, or with those who enable the behaviour to continue?
Image: Artforum November 2017 cover. Courtesy of Artforum.