Contemporary art is increasingly concerned with swaying the opinions of its viewer. 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 the Border Film Project and web-based works of Beatriz da Costa, Art and Politics: a Small History of Art for Social Change since 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 post colonialism, feminism, the anti-war movement, environmentalism, gay rights and anti-globalization. It charts how individual artworks reverberated with enormous ideological shifts. While emphasizing 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 marginalized political artworks as properly part of the history of modern and contemporary art.
Claudia Mesch is Associate Professor of Art History at the School of Art at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Prehistory of Political Modernist Art 1. State-Sponsored Art, 1949 - Present 2. Civil Rights/Postcolonial Movements, 1960 3. The Anti-War Movement, 1965 4. Feminisim., 1970 5. Gay Rights, 1969 6. Environmentalist Art, 1972 7. Anti-Globalization, 1999 Epilogue: Art and Politics to Come