Category Archives: fine arts

Dessane Lopez Cassell: ‘Vivid Posters Chart a “People’s History” of the Struggle for Social Justice’

“Be it graffiti on the apartheid wall in Palestine or the peace walls in Northern Ireland, people make visual art to tell stories everywhere, especially in times of entrenched violence and systemic oppression.”

Billy Anania: “The Viral Artwork Emerging From Hong Kong’s Protests”

“In Hong Kong, the ongoing protest movement immortalizes its political action in real time through art. … Art and politics are uniquely linked in the city, reinforcing the youth-driven struggle against human rights abuses.”

Joseph Nechvatal: “How Artists of the French Revolution Embraced Neoclassical Revivalism”

“The exhibition Revolutionary Generation: French Drawings (1770-1815) from the Fabre Museum illustrates how, as the Rococo movement went out of fashion, France’s insurrectionist artists drew on ancient Greek and Roman art for inspiration.”

“The Photos that Captured the First Day of the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia”

August 21, 1968 at the Czech Center New York features 20 images of dynamic photo-reportage capturing the first day of the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.”

“New Museum Triennial Takes a Global View of Aesthetic Resistance”

Songs for Sabotage, the fourth installment of the New Museum triennial, brings together politically astute works by 30 artists and collectives from 19 countries.”

“Revolution Every Day” at Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art

The exhibition “juxtaposes works of Soviet graphic art—primarily posters from the 1920s and 1930s—with works on video and film.”

‘Calling Detroit’s 1967 Civil Unrest a “Rebellion,” a Museum Takes a Strong Stand’

‘Colloquial references to the events of ’67 as either a “rebellion” or an “uprising” are common in Detroit … but the Charles H. Wright Museum appears to be the first institution to officially adopt that nomenclature as a matter of policy, and this seems right in step with their commemorative exhibition, organized by Erin Falker, Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion.’

“Detroit Museums Examine the Riots that Changed the City”

“The story of Detroit’s July 1967 riots is, in some ways, a tale of two cities, one black and one white. Now, 50 years later, three neighboring museums here are revisiting that fateful summer with exhibitions that portray and explore the riots in sharply different ways.”

Lynn Clement: “The Commune’s Marianne: An Art History of La Pétroleuse”

“The near-mythical pétroleuse was one of the principal figures to emerge from the short-lived, yet radical Paris Commune (1871). The pétroleuse represented those women accused of setting devastating fires that gutted government and cultural institutions during the Semaine Sanglant (The Bloody Week). … Damaging ideologies coalesced around the pétroleuse and as such, a study of these symbols of female destruction reveals the fears and tensions that surrounded French women’s political power and agency by way of the proletariat’s civil war and revolution.”

Matt Broomfield: “Manifesto for a Left-Wing Meme”

“The left as self-created through the melancholic meme is not only abstracted from the present: even the lost past it clings to is held at a distance. … Though Freud dismissed it as mere rhetorical device, irony often functions as a Freudian defence mechanism. On the melancholic meme pages, it enables the ego of the weakening left to displace its self-loathing onto its past incarnations in a playful fashion, rather than consider its contemporary failures. But now is the time for attack, not defence. An ironic revolution is no revolution at all.”