ArtMag Celebrates its Anniversary
is that supposed to be? Questions about contemporary art always crop up
— and the works of the Deutsche Bank Collection are no exception.
That’s why we started ArtMag, Deutsche Bank’s online art
magazine: to introduce trends and international positions in
contemporary art, to reveal backgrounds, and to inspire curiosity. Now, ArtMag celebrates its 10-year anniversary.
do you explain a “translinguistic sculpture?” How do you elucidate an
artwork published in the New York Times that encompasses the entire
city but is only present for a single day? On October 4, 2002, when Karin Sander’s Wordsearch
launched in New York, it was not an easy time for a large conceptual
project that posed questions about understanding between various
cultures, ethnicities, religions, home countries, and immigration.
Barely one year after the attacks of September 11, New York was a
wounded and anxious city. Sander had long conceived the idea for Wordsearch as a work in the Moment series, in which Deutsche Bank
presented ephemeral art in the public arena. Now, however, Sander’s
work seemed especially relevant — because she was concerned with
understanding in the truest sense of the word. Her work replaced four
double-page spreads in the financial section of the New York Times:
instead of the daily stock exchange rates, and in place of the sea of
numbers ordinarily found there, columns of words from 250 languages
spoken in New York appeared for one day — a vast network of different
cultures that define the city’s identity.
was both complex and minimalistic. Like many works of contemporary art,
it was not immediately decipherable on all its many levels of meaning.
The viewer needed additional information to understand it fully: its
development, the languages and people involved, the conceptual
structure. Education has always played a key role in Deutsche Bank’s
art program, much in the way the Moment series presented innovative paths. Thus, in 2002 Wordsearch
provided an opportunity to call another medium to life: the first
online art magazine run by a company, and still the only one to date. ArtMag was designed to report beyond Deutsche Bank’s commitment to art and its collection:
to take the bank’s cultural activities as a point of departure to
introduce trends and international positions in contemporary art in the
form of journalism tailored for the company, the wider public, and the
art scene itself.
This agenda is exactly what makes ArtMag
so interesting: it’s a magazine that does justice to the art scene
while also imparting content in an understandable, captivating way,
even to readers who are not experts. Ever since ArtMag first
went online on September 29, 2002, a fascinating cross-section of
collecting and art history has been recorded in over 72 issues and in
hundreds of interviews, articles, and essays. Currently about 25.000
readers have subscribed the ArtMag Newsletter and also the ArtMag Facebook community is constantly growing. From the very start, renowned art critics have written for ArtMag, including Harald Fricke (d. 2007), author and art editor at the taz
and one of Germany’s most important critics. Harald worked for one year
as co-editor — a year that left an indelible mark on the magazine.
Ossian Ward, art editor of Time Out London, has also belonged to our staple of ArtMag authors, likewise Silke Hohmann (Monopol) and Brigitte Werneburg (taz/ Interview Magazine Germany).
Our correspondent in New York, author and curator Cheryl Kaplan, has been working with ArtMag since its beginnings. In 2004, she succeeded in winning over Louise Bourgeois
for an interview, one of the last the grande dame of 20th-century art
gave. Over the course of the years, many prominent artists and curators
have had their say in ArtMag: Benjamin Buchloh, Germano Celant, Marlene Dumas, Maria Lassnig, William Kentridge, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Elisabeth Peyton, and Jeff Wall, to name but a few. Among the many wonderful encounters was the conversation the painter Norbert Bisky had for ArtMag with one of his heroes when we visited K.R.H. Sonderborg,
then 80 years old and one of the most important protagonists of German
Informel; today, he enjoys cult status among a younger generation of
artists. In addition, there have been talks with figures on the young
international scene, ranging from Markus Amm and Sharon Hayes to Yang Fudong, Adrian Paci, and Ralf Ziervogel.
Over the past decade, the Deutsche Bank Collection has grown younger and more international, and ArtMag
has accompanied this development. In the beginning, we primarily
reported on artists from the traditional art hubs of Berlin, London,
and New York, whereas today it’s often art from regions that used to be
blind spots on the art map: the Middle East, Indonesia, Serbia, West
Africa. In a certain respect, ArtMag has grown much more vital
from this, not only to its readers, but also its authors. The ways in
which current art combines global themes with local traditions present
us with completely new perspectives. And so, the future will bring even
more: more layers of meaning, more stories, more questions. And
hopefully more answers — in ArtMag.