Last year, Magenta Magazine turned five. This is an accomplishment of which I’m very proud (and, to be perfectly frank, I didn’t expect to achieve). To paraphrase The Beatles, I got by with a lot of help from my friends. I wholeheartedly thank each and every person who was contributed to and supported the magazine.
Mag Mag is now a vigorous six-year-old, so what can you expect from us at this stage of life?
Well, according to some child-raising literature I consulted, you can expect Mag Mag to be more independent. You will find that we can be reasoned with, but that we’ll ask some serious questions. In so doing, we’ll expect to be taken seriously in turn.
As a six-year-old, we’re also learning that differences can exist alongside each other. We’re developing an understanding that people value different things and that differences should be respected. We’re learning about things like teamwork and being open to others’ ideas. As keen observers and listeners, six-year-olds want to see and share so much that sometimes their attention wanders, so be patient with us.
In addition, we are beginning to understand a lot more about concepts like space and time!
As a curious six-year-old, Mag Mag will demonstrate a solid grasp of our native language, and use it to form our own opinions. We might have a bit of difficulty explaining complex ideas like, say, Formalism or Post-Internet art, but we know that there are adults out there (called art critics) who can explain these things to us in a clear and straightforward way if we ask them. Forming such bonds with people outside of our own immediate family circle is, apparently, a positive developmental indicator.
We also recognize that we have younger and older siblings who will demand your attention occasionally. Sure, we might get a bit jealous of the time you spend with them but, by making the moments you spend with Mag Mag “our special time”, you’ll be building our confidence and setting us up to succeed in the future.
In this issue
As we enter into the sixth year of producing Magenta Magazine, we felt it was time to shake things up. With this issue, we welcome Montreal-based arts writer and editor Ben Bruneau as the Reviews Editor. Ben brings with him a wealth of experience writing and/or editing for publications such as C Magazine, ArtINFO Canada and Momus, as well as previous issues of Magenta. In his past work, Ben has demonstrated a dedication to candour, rigour and clarity in writing about art. Personally, I’m thrilled to have his honest, evocative and informed voice as part of the magazine.
I’m also delighted that two of Canada’s busiest artists found time in their schedules to talk to us for this issue. Julia Dault, whose show Blame It On the Rain runs through June at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, spoke with new contributor Kyra Kordoski, while David Altmejd, whose touring retrospective arrives at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal on June 20, engaged in an informative and entertaining interview with Ben. (Altmejd even let us share some of the less “cringeworthy” photos from his Instagram with you.) Our features are rounded out by Alex Bowron’s examination of Toronto artist Jon Sasaki’s practice on the eve of his participation in the prestigious Glenfiddich Artist Residency in Scotland, while another new contributor, Los Angeles-based arts writer D.S. Chun, tackles American artist Parker Ito’s recent exhibitions in L.A. and London, which seem to have critics divided. (Reading about Ito’s work, I was reminded of this quote from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: “When critics disagree, the artist is in accordance with himself.”)
Lastly, the Magenta Foundation was proud to be a media sponsor of this year’s Papier Art Fair in Montreal from April 23 to 26. Check out the scroll at the top of this page for some of the photo-based artworks that caught our attention at the fair.
I hope you enjoy this new issue. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you again later this summer.
Bill Clarke was the Executive Editor of Magenta Magazine Online from its inception in September 2009 until May 2017. His writing has been published in Modern Painters, Art Review, Canadian Art, Artnews and several other publications. In January 2017, he assumed the position of associate director at Angell Gallery in Toronto.