Transfer of JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG to a non-profit entity

After 15 years of dynamic editorial activities as commercial publishing company, JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG will be transferred to a non-profit entity. The shares in JRP|Ringier and thus its inventory of existing titles and the distribution system will in 2019 be transferred to the «Fondation Suisse pour l’édition d’art» (FSEA), presided by the Swiss artist John M Armleder. The Foundation´s aim is to support artistic projects of quality by broadening its public reach, notably by collaborating with editorial structures. The Foundation will continue to pursue the distribution of books produced over the years and support new titles.

JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG, based in Zurich, was founded in 2004 by the Swiss curator Lionel Bovier, who had created JRP Editions a decade before, and Ringier AG.

JRP|Ringier has established itself as one of the leading international publishers of contemporary art and an independent publishing house and partner for museums, galleries and private institutions.

JRP|Ringier has published so far more than 700 books and weighed on the cultural discussions worldwide by its extensive outreach and widely recognized quality-orientated production. If the company was able to collaborate with major artists, writers, curators, institutions, and galleries worldwide, it was always fighting economically against a conundrum of negative factors. Seen from today’s digital and global perspective, the production and international distribution of art books hardly qualifies as a for-profit activity, as so many publishers in Europe and the USA have experienced over the last decades.

The transfer of JRP|Ringier to FSEA will ensure the continuation of distribution of its catalog of titles, while allowing a new structure to emerge and help projects by artists or institutions in Switzerland to be published. Lionel Bovier and Michael Ringier, will sit at the board of the Foundation, while its CEO since 2016, Lukas Haller, will ensure continuity of trade for the existing books.

JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG, which also includes «Kunstgriff» Bookshop in Zurich, has currently six employees, which will be affected by the changes in ownership. The company will start talks with the JRP staff immediately and try to find individual solutions. A social plan is in place and will be implemented until the end of April 2019. A final decision about the future ownership structure of the bookstore has not yet been made.

Over the last 15 years, JRP|Ringier has housed editors such as Salome Schnetz and Clément Dirié, editorial director since 2016; collaborated with art directors such as Gilles Gavillet, Cornel Windlin, and Nicolas Eigenheer; worked with graphic designers such as Vincent Devaud, Vera Kaspar, Nicolas Leuba, Noémie Gygax, Marie Lusa, NORM, and Mevis Van Deursen; and printed by companies such as Musumeci, Noir sur Noir, and Odermatt.

«JRP has thus contributed to the development of an editorial ecosystem in Switzerland, where it remained based despite the economic pressure of a high-cost environment in an extremely competitive market. Its transfer to a non-profit appears not only as a consequence of the latter, but also as a way to engage with these problematics», says John M Armleder.

Ringier AG, Corporate Communications

About Ringier

Ringier is a diversified media company with about 6,900 employees across 18 countries. Founded in 1833, Ringier manages leading brands in print, TV, radio, online and mobile media and runs successful print, entertainment and internet businesses. In a history that spans more than 180 years, Ringier stands for a pioneering spirit, independence, freedom of expression and diversity of information. Ringier is a Swiss family-owned business with head offices in Zurich.