Artforum Publisher Knight Landesman Resigns Amid Claims of Sexual Misconduct

  • Cover of Artforum

    Cover of Artforum

A lawsuit against Knight Landesman, 67, co-publisher of Artforum magazine, was filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. The suit claims that Landesman sexually harrassed a former employee for years. Nine women have come forward to accuse Landesman of harrassment although only one is named as a plaintiff in the suit, reports New York Times.

Landesman has resigned from his position as publisher. The magazine's editor-in-chief Michelle Kuo resigned last week.

The only woman named in the suit, Amanda Schmitt, now a curator and art fair director, says the harrassment began after she was hired as a 21-year-old circulation assistant in 2009. She claims her efforts to stop the behaviour were unsuccessful, both with Landesman and internally with Artforum.

A well-known and powerful figure, Landesman allegedly sent her vulgar and pestering emails in an effort at a sexual affair, and is accused of "touching her, uninvited," according to the suit. One alleged email showed a man spanking a woman with the text: "A good old-fashioned spanking was the turning point in the life of an ultra-modern girl," the suit claims.

"Artforum has played by the old rules: let the powerful, sexually predatory boss take advantage of the young, powerless woman who reports to him; maintain the boss in his position of power; try to silence the young woman; and if she speaks out, then lie to downplay the boss's misconduct," the suit says.

When the news broke, Landesman told artnet news by email: "I have never willfully or intentionally harmed anyone. However, I am fully engaged in seeking help to insure that my behavior with both friends and colleagues is above reproach in the future."

Several other people have spoken up about alleged "unwanted touching," including groping, from Landesman, and threats of retaliation. Schmitt alleges, in one of many incidences, that Landesman said she must be "more open to physical contact to succeed," while running a finger down her body.

More News Feed Headlines

Kate Ballis, 'Sheats Goldstein', 2017.  Archival pigment print

Kate Ballis's 'Hypercolour Fantasy: Infra Realism' Depicts California in a Whole New Light

  • August 16, 2018 13:10

Felicity Carter writes in Forbes: At first sight, the work of Kate Ballis may not look like ...

Read More

Andy Warhol's Mao Zedong series of portraits in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art vault.

Artworks Rediscovered in Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art's Vault in 2019 Exhibition

  • August 15, 2018 22:22

A trove of artworks hidden away in Iran's Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art will finally be on ...

Read More

THOMAS WILMER DEWING, The White Dress.  Oil on canvas.

Appeals Court to Hear Suit Against Berkshire Museum Art Sales

  • August 14, 2018 21:56

While some $47 million in art may have already been sold, an appeals case against the Berkshire ...

Read More

"Adam" and "Eve" painted by German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder around 1530.

Appeal Filed in Case of Contested Cranach Paintings

  • August 14, 2018 18:18

The long-running legal dispute between a California museum and the heir of a Jewish Dutch art ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire