Tina Rivers Ryan Named Editor of ‘Artforum’ Magazine

She takes over a position that opened in October, when David Velasco was dismissed.

Tina Rivers Ryan. Photo: Jeff Mace for the Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Tina Rivers Ryan, currently a curator at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, has been tapped for the position of editor in chief of Artforum magazine. She has been a longtime contributor to the magazine.

“For decades, the editors at Artforum have ensured that this historic magazine has remained a trusted and indispensable resource for conversations about contemporary art and its role in the broader culture,” Ryan said. “I look forward to extending their legacy by working closely with and supporting the artists, critics, and other members of the arts community who are expanding and deepening that conversation.”

In 2022, Ryan received an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and was also named to Artnet’s inaugural Innovators List. Having focused in several exhibitions on artists working in new media, she spoke to Artnet News at the time about the future potential for NFTs and blockchain. She holds a PhD in art history from New York’s Columbia University and a BA in the subject from Harvard.

She takes over a position formerly held by David Velasco, who led the magazine from 2017 until last year, when he was dismissed from the post after the magazine posted an open letter calling for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas that broke out in October. Critics pointed out that the letter protested Israel’s conduct without naming the October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli civilians. An exodus followed, with several editors resigning in protest, and many prominent figures in the art world signed a call for editorial independence at the magazine, which, along with ARTnews and Art in America, is owned by Penske Media Corporation, which bought the publication in 2022.

The announcement of Ryan’s hiring nods to this context, saying, “As Ryan’s tenure as editor begins, the leadership of Artforum would like to emphasize the magazine’s ongoing commitment to editorial independence.”

“We could not be more excited for this next chapter of Artforum with Tina at the editorial helm,” said publishers Danielle McConnell and Kate Koza. “Tina is a brilliant writer and uniquely positioned to uphold the magazine’s reputation for publishing the highest quality long-form criticism, while also contributing to a dynamic vision of audience expansion via continued digital growth and live events.”

Ryan’s appointment completes a curious circuit for Artforum editors. Michelle Kuo, who was at the magazine’s helm from 2010 to 2017, went on to become a curator of painting and sculpture at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2018 (and was recently promoted to chief curator at large). Ryan completes the opposite trajectory, a curator stepping into the shoes of an editor in chief. 

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