Peter Brant Takes Over Art Magazines

The contemporary art collector and publisher Peter M. Brant announced that he had assumed full control over Art in America magazine and ARTnews, as well as a stable of other publications that were part of a complex merger last year.

In the deal, Mr. Brant agreed to sell Art in America, which has been published since 1913 but has struggled recently, to the company that owns ARTnews, published since 1902. Mr. Brant sold the magazine for about $17 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Brant's media company became the majority shareholder of ARTnews's parent, ARTnews S.A., whose chief executive, Izabela Depczyk, eventually resigned and was replaced by Vincent Fremont, a friend of Mr. Brant's and a founding dir ector of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The deal initially gave rise to speculation that Mr. Brant, who also owns Interview magazine, might have been moving to divest himself of his art-publishing empire. But he quickly consolidated all of the publications online and has now announced that with the completion of their merger last Thursday, Brant Publications has become their legal owner.

Under plans announced last year, Art in America is to continue its regular publication schedule of 11 issues a year, and ARTnews will come out in print about four times a year, continuing popular themed editions such as the annual list of "The World's Top 200 Collectors." Online, Mr. Brant said, the consolidation would move "under one umbrella" some of "the most important cultural publications that together provide the complete content and history of decorative arts, classical arts and art-related news."

In an interview last year, he said that despite the challenges facing print publications he believed there was still a place for magazines, particularly those that covered art. "We are committed to staying in that world," he said, adding: "Interest in art is growing. We're living in a much more artistic world."

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