Welcome back, everyone! This week’s magazine is Parkett, a smart take on the art world. This magazine was founded by an art-book publishing house in Zurich, Switzerland. It was published twice a year, both from Zurich and their office in New York.
The magazine was begun in 1984 by a group of international artists and art critics, with the goal of fostering more interaction between the American and European art scenes. As international art markets evolved, they expanded this vision to cover Asian and African art shows, cities, and artists as well. Despite having prominent fans and critical acclaim, the title ceased publishing with issue 100, Summer 2017. The editors, in a letter to their readers, cite changing reading habits in the newly digital age as the main reason for their decision.
Considered “a large library and a small museum of art”, Parkett focused on contemporary artists worldwide (really: issue had artists from India and Hong Kong as well as the Venice Biennale). Each article is considered a “collaboration” with that artist or artists, and goes in depth with that person’s thoughts and work. Often an issue includes commentary by several critics about the same artist(s) or written pieces by the featured artists themselves. The title is most famous, however, for having commissioned each artist to produce a work in conjunction with the publication of the issue he or she is featured within. These collaborations were the subject of an exhibiton at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2001.
The text is written in both German and English (each article is presented twice, with different images). The editors sought to distribute the magazine through art bookstores rather than depend upon advertising revenues. They intended Parkett to be kept as a record of current exhibitions and ideas. Throughout, the publishers worked to bring global artists and markets together and ask big questions. Even on the occasion of the last issue, the publishers held workshops on the topic of future platforms for artistic debates and production.