Perl’s resignation seemed inevitable in the midst of a recent mass exodus at the magazine in protest over its announcement that it would rebrand the magazine as a “vertically integrated digital media company” and replace its top editor, reports the Huffington Post. Below is part of the statement sent to HuffPost by group of editors and writers:
The New Republic cannot be merely a “brand.” It has never been and cannot be a “media company” that markets “content.” Its essays, criticism, reportage, and poetry are not “product.” It is not, or not primarily, a business.
Since Perl coined the phrase “laissez-faire aesthetics” to express his disdain for the financially-driven compromise of artistic standards among artists, collectors, galleries, and museums, it comes as no surprise that he would bring those same standards to journalism.
Known for his smart (but often contrary and sometimes conservative) essays on contemporary art, art history, and the art world, he has made some bold statements on some art world darlings, such as “Gerhard Richter is a bullshit artist masquerading as a painter,” and “There is not a shred of doubt in Jeff Koons. And where there is no doubt there is no art.” Titles of his articles in The New Republic within the past year include “Liberals Are Killing Art: How the Left became obsessed with ideology over beauty,” “The Art World Has Stopped Distinguishing Between Greatness and Fraudulence,” “Whitney Biennial: The Most Narcissistic of all New York Art World Events,” and “The Super-Rich Are Ruining Art for the Rest of Us.”