Blake Gopnik, the Daily Beast/Newsweek’s punchy art and design critic, has been laid off. Gopnik is among a number of staff members let go from the publication last week following October’s news that it would shut down its print edition for good. (One source called the layoffs “a bloodbath.”) Gopnik joined Newsbeast in 2010 after a decade at the Washington Post, where he also served as an art critic.
“It’s been a wild ride, and a strange one,” Gopnik told New York magazine, which confirmed his departure. Part curmudgeon, part engaged historian, Gopnik did a fair amount of railing against the market while at Newsweek, but he also made sure to devote ample column inches to examining artwork itself. His well-loved “daily pics” offered a far-reaching, eclectic look at art on view from a variety of eras all over the world.
In an e-mail to ARTINFO, Gopnik said he would remain at Newsweek through early January and then begin writing a proposal for a “major book,” the subject of which he’ll reveal in several months’ time. Asked what he was most proud of writing at Newsweek, Gopnik replied like a true critic: “Whatever I wrote on actual artistic creation. Picasso and photography? Warhol and the art of business? Even my Damien Hirst profile.”
Fans of the writer’s daily pics can keep up with them on his website, www.blakegopnik.com.
— Julia Halperin