Art and Politics

Art and Politics : A Small History of Art for Social Change Since 1945

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Contemporary art is increasingly concerned with swaying the opinions of its viewier. To do so, the art employs various strategies to convey a political message. This book provides readers with the tools to decode and appreciate political art, a crucial and understudied direction in post-war art. From the postwar works of Pablo Picasso and Alexander Deineka to thie Border Film Project and web-based works of Beatriz da Costa, Art and Politics: a Small History of Art for Social Change after 1945 considers how artists visual or otherwise have engaged with major political and grassroots movements, particularly after 1960. With its broad definition of the political, this book features chapters on postcolonialism, feminism, the anti-war movement, environmentalism, gay rights and anti-globiliaztion. It charts how individual artworks reverberated with enormous idealogical shifts. While emphasising the West, Art and Politics takes global developments into account as well - looking at art production practiced by postcolonial African, Latin American and Middle Eastern artists. Its case-study approach to the subject provides the reader with an overview of a most complex subject.
This book will also challenge its readers to consider often devalued and marginalised political artworks as properly part of the history of modern and contemporary art.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 15.24mm | 445g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 73 integrated bw
  • 1848851103
  • 9781848851108
  • 367,756

Table of contents

Introduction: A Prehistory of Political Modernist Art

Chapter 1: State-Sponsored Art, 1949-present
-Zhadnovian socialist realism and 1945: Alexander Deineka
- Postwar Western socialist realisms: Andre Fougeron; Renato Guttuso; Pablo Picasso; Diego Rivera
- African socialist realisms: Tshibumba kanda Matulu, Congo; Monument to Agostinho Neto, Angola
- American art and the Cold War: Jackson Pollock
- Political Cold War Painting in the west: Sigmar Polke; Eugen Schoenebeck; Erro; Bernard Rancillac; Tseng Kwong Chi
- Wric Bulatov and late-Soviet political painting

Chapter 2: Civil Rights/Postcolonial Movements,1960-
- Art of the Civil Rights movement and its legacies: Romare Bearden; Betye Saar; David Hammons; Lorna Simpson
- Postcolonialist art: Yinka Shonibare; Chris Ofili; Steve McQueen; Bodys Isek Kingelez; Meschac Gaba

Chapter 3: The Anti-War Movement, 1965-
- Vietnam: Leon Golub; Nanacy Spero; Ed Kienholz; Peter Saul; George Segal; Erro ( Gundmundur Gundmundsson); the Guerilla Art Action Group; Mark di Suvero' Groupe Cronica; Wolf Vostell; Martha Rosler
- Afghanistan, the Gulf Wars, and Middle East conflict: Jeff Wall; Harun Farocki; Walid Ra'ad
- Torture: Luis Camnitzer; Doris Salcedo; Francisco Botero

Chapter 4: Feminisim.,1970-
-US feminisims: Womanhouse ( Miriam Shapiro and Judy Chicago); Betye Saar; Carolee Schneeman; Eva Hesse; Ana Mendieta; Barbara Kruger; Cindy Sherman
- European femininisms: Mona Hatoum; Shirin Neshat; Le Groupe Amos (Congo); Wangechi Mutu

Chapter 5: Gay Rights, 1969-
- Gay rights and AIDS activism inside and outside of the artworld: ACTUP; Gran Fury; Group Material; Ross Bleckner; David Wojnarowicz; Martin Wong; Oliviero Toscani ( for Benetton)
- Lesbian identity: Catherine Opie

Chapter 6: Environmentalist Art, 1972-
- Origins of a "land ethic" in art reclamation: Robert Smithson; Hans Haacke; Betty Beaumont; Alan Sonfist; Agnew Denes; Helen Mayer-Harrison and Newton Harrison: Joseph Beuys
- New environmentalism: Mel Chin; kathryn Miller; Ines Doujak; Sokari Douglas-Camp and Platform London; Beatriz da Costa

Chapter 7: Anti-Globalization, 1999-
- In real time and space: Thomas Hirshhorn; Alfredo Jaar; Alighiero Boetti
- Migrants' and Workers' rights: mierle Laderman Ukeles; Yolanda Lopez; Chantal Akermann; Multiplicity; Minerva Cuevas; Huit Facettes ( Senegal); Corie Cole; the Border Film Project
- Informatics Activism: 0100101110101101.ORG; Radical Software Group; Mongrel; Raqs Media Collective

Epilogue: Art and Politics to Come
- Bioethics: Eduardo Kac; Critical Art Ensemble: Tissue Culture & Art
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Review quote

'Whosoever wants to get a great overview and detailed information about art and politics should read Claudia Mesch's book. It gives sound information on the art of the twentieth century and the major artists that contributed to this important aspect of art, in a time when most artists today only produce pleasing art.' Salome (W. Cihlarz) painter, sculptor, and punk singer 'Art and Politics' is a succinct history of political art that recovers important, marginalized artists. But more, it conveys the continuing need for art that reconfigures, regroups, and redirects the collective, and as such is a great resource for practicing artists.' Delinda Collier, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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About Claudia Mesch

Claudia Mesch is Associate Professor of Art History at the School of Art at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Her publications include Joseph Beuys: The Reader (edited with Viola Michely, I.B.Tauris and MIT Press, 2007) and Modern Art at the Berlin Wall: Demarcating Culture in the Cold War Germanys (I.B.Tauris, 2008)
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Rating details

13 ratings
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