Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The New Zealand art magazine scene.

Earlier in the year I mentioned finding the very lively and somewhat alternative art magazine White Fungus.

Of course this market is dominated by two heavyweights, Art New Zealand and Art News New Zealand.

Although these two magazines have similar names and are both published in the same format and attract much the same sort of advertising from our prolific number of dealer galleries they are hugely different magazines in their approach.

The diference can be summed up to some extent by statements each make on their websites which you can view in full by using the links above:

Art New Zealand

"Art New Zealand is the major visual arts journal in New Zealand.
First published in 1975, it has consistently surveyed NZ's contemporary art with rigour and professionalism . It is essential reading and refrence for those interested in NZ art. Its place in the art world is secure and its reputation is unequalled."

A bold, somewhat immodest claim!

Art News New Zealand

"Art News is an essential read for anyone interested in the arts. News, reviews, artist profiles and interviews, artist's studios, exhibition listings - each magazine is packed full - and we don't use art speak."

Rather more friendly methinks?

The articles that appear in Art New Zealand are indeed serious pieces employing "rigour and professionalism" and complete, where approriate, with footnotes.They often take the form of serious critiques.
If you are a professional in the arts industry or a student at one of our fine arts colleges then this magazine is essential reading.

On the other hand the articles in Art News New Zealand, and there are many more of them, (the latest issue runs to 134 pages cf Art New Zealand at 84 pages), are more varied, they are friendlier in the language they employ, they are often news stories, and thus all round are much more accesible. Their artist profiles are varied and well-illustrated.
It seems to me that this magazine is more for the interested lay-person although I suspect that students and academics would be buying it too.

One suspects it is a tough old business in which to turn a buck so I wish them all well.

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