Artforum is a world recognised international art magazine that was co published by Knight Landesman until he recently resigned after it was revealed that there had been allegations of sexual harassment made by several women and men against him.
This comes at a time when famous American film producer Harvey Weinstein has had actresses and actors come out left, right and centre accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct.
The petition is an open letter that discuses how the allegations against Landesman have been ‘a longtime open secret in the industry.’ It has been signed by more than 1,800 women and posted on Not Surprised, an organisation made up of workers in the art world who have faced sexual harassment. Some of the women who signed the petition include noted art dealers, curators, writers and artists.
The letter begins “We are not surprised. We are artists, arts administrators, assistants, curators, directors, editors, educators, gallerists, interns, scholars, students, writers, and more—workers of the art world—and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilized, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities. We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement.” As well as a definition of sexual harassment.
Landesman has received a lawsuit from a former employee, accusing him of sexual harassment. Artforum announced on the day of his resignation that the magazine would create a women’s task force, hoping to observe and improve its workplace culture. Editor-in-chief of the art publication, Michelle Kuo has announced plans to step down.