Cases for Political Art | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

This episode of “The Art Assignment” is
supported by Prudential. [MUSIC PLAYING] You may be unhappy
about the recent US presidential election. You may be elated about it. Or you may not care
at all, because you live in a different
country and have political issues of equal
or greater importance to think about. But regardless of the
politics that occupy your mind and populate your
Twitter feed, I would imagine you have
thoughts about them. And if you’re lucky enough
to live in a country that affords you freedoms
of speech, I believe you should
exercise them and that our various and
dissenting opinions should form a loud and
cacophonous and dissonant symphony. And artists are part
of that symphony and have been
throughout history, using a wide range of
materials and techniques to explore ideas that
relate to the government or public affairs of a country. Their art has been in support
of a movement or leader. It’s been resistance
to prevailing powers. And it has addressed a
huge expanse of issues. I’m calling this political art. But it’s not art that
is only political. It’s other things, too,
and you can call it by many other names. Now, you can easily
argue that all art is political in some way,
and I’d agree with you. Even a pile of yarn or
a landscape painting can be interpreted through
a political context. But the artworks I’m
going to talk about today from various moments
of the 20th century are political in an obvious way. And in each case,
I’d like for us all to consider how each of
these works is political, how each artist used the
materials and platforms of their own times to make
unforgettable statements, and how these approaches
might inform our own modes and means of expression. These are “Cases
for Political Art.” German artist Kathe
Kollwitz turned to printmaking in
the early 1890s, depicting oppressed,
poverty-stricken, and yet still defiant workers. She realized the
print’s potential for social commentary. They were inexpensive
and easily reproducible, and her work was widely
circulated and admired. Kollwitz bore witness
to both world wars, losing a son in the first
and a grandson in the second, fusing her own
experience of tragedy with the suffering
of those around her. Women and children often take
center stage in her prints, showing in graphic, intimate
detail the realities of war and the incommensurate toll
it takes on society’s most vulnerable. A socialist an outspoken
pacifist, Kollwitz in 1933 was forced by the
Nazi government to resign her post as the
first female professor pointed to the Prussian Academy, and she
was forbidden to show her work. She died in 1945, just two
weeks before German surrender. And the power of
her work has not diminished in the
ensuing decades. Her images are of universal
human experiences– familial tenderness,
mourning, and death. And the pain they depict is so
raw and so real and so present. Looking at her work, I
can’t dismiss these agonies as long past but instead
feel their urgency– the fact that parallel
moments are playing out now throughout the world. This is anguish that
happened then which must be avoided at all costs. But it’s also
anguish happening now that we must be awake to and
do all in our power to remedy. Kazimir Malevich, a Russian
artist of Polish descent, took a vastly different approach
from Kollwitz and pretty much everyone else who
were using realism to address the horrors of
the early 20th century. Malevich wrote, “In the year
1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead
weight of the real world, I took refuge in the
form of the square.” He unveiled his
painting “Black Square” to the St. Petersburg
public in 1915. And it was just that– a black
square on a white canvas, part of a new language
of shapes and forms he called suprematism,
whose radical simplicity presented a challenge
to all art that came before. But he hung the painting in
a top corner of the gallery, in the place
traditionally reserved for the display of Russian
icons in many homes. Russia in 1915 was firmly
entrenched in World War I and hurdling toward the
Bolshevik uprising and October Revolution of 1917. The world as people knew
it had been upended, hierarchies overturned,
and Malevich felt that art should be
overturned as well, beginning at what he called
the zero of form. It wasn’t an escape
from reality. For him, it was its own reality. And he called the painting
an icon of our times– in a sacred spot, darkness. After the revolution,
Malevich’s abstract approach was put to use by
the Bolshevik regime, creating propaganda
for the new government. Other artists like
Vladimir Tatlin answered Lenin’s call
to replace the monuments of the tzarist period with art
more fitting of the revolution. Tatlin’s proposed monument
to the Third International was never built, but
his model and plans for the abstract sculpture
ignited generations of artists eager to explore
ways other than figuration to express their ideals. Perhaps the best
known indictment of the horrors of the war,
Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” is the artist’s response
to Germany’s April 1937 bombing of the small
village Guernica in the Basque region of Spain. The country was
embroiled in a civil war, and Hitler had
aligned in support of General Franco and the
right-wing nationalists, who sought to overthrow
Spain’s left-leaning Republican government. Understood to be a training
mission for the German Air Force, the bombing
of Guernica, not of strategic military value,
lasted for three hours and killed or wounded
1,600 civilians. The news reached
Paris soon after, and the atrocity was
well-documented in the papers. Picasso’s monumental painting
represents the horror of what had transpired, but not
in specific or realistic terms. And when it was presented in the
Spanish pavilion of the Paris Exposition later that year, it
served as a powerful protest to the atrocities perpetrated
by Germany’s Third Reich, whose own pavilion was on
display not far from Spain’s. Complex and
much-debated iconography is at play in this
work, whose careful composition echoes more
traditional European history painting. But it veers decisively
away from that in its abstraction and depiction
of war as thoroughly unheroic. Presented in the context
of a fair celebrating new technologies, this
25-foot-wide painting instead confronted the public
with the brutalities that new technologies
had made possible, compounding the growing
aggression of Hitler’s fascist regime. After the fair, the painting
traveled through Europe to help raise funds
for Spanish refugees and was loaned to
the Museum of Modern Art in New York for
safekeeping until it returned to Spain in 1981. It remains an incredibly potent
and memorable image of not just the tragedy that
occurred at Guernica but of all that
was about to occur and all that still may
happen in the future. Have you gotten the
idea that war is bad? No? Let’s continue. Iri and Toshi Maruki entered the
city of Hiroshima, Japan just days after it had been
destroyed on August 6, 1945 by an atomic bomb dropped
by the United States during the final
stages of World War II. The Marukis stayed for weeks
to tend to the injured and dead and three years later began
painting a series of panels that described the trauma
of that experience, engaging the long tradition
of Japanese screen painting and using a style that blended
sumi-e, or ink wash techniques, with a more Western
style of illustration. At first they intended
to create just one panel. But as soon as survivors
saw it and began to share their own
experiences with the artists, they were determined
to make more. Over the course of 32 years, the
couple painted 15 large panels, over which unfolds a
narrative of unimaginable pain and suffering. Photographs of the actual
devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
often censored, and a number of people
who viewed the panels were seeing images of the
catastrophe for the first time. After they were shown
in the US in 1970, the artists went on to
create further panels that offered an even
wider view, showing the American prisoners of war
and Korean forced laborers who were also victims. But the Hiroshima
panels are not simply an indictment of
wartime atrocities. They’re also images of
remembrance and hope, as well as continuing
protest against the use of nuclear weapons. Nominated for a Nobel
Peace Prize in 1995, the Marukis
dedicated their lives to an intensely
thoughtful working through of a disaster and
loss of epic proportions. They visited and
revisited this subject, incorporating the views
and experiences of many, chronicling an event whose
consequences are still playing out. Jumping forward to the 1960s,
American artist Martha Rosler began collecting
images from magazines and creating a series
of photomontage she titled “House Beautiful–
Bringing the War Home.” The war in question
was the Vietnam War, which, by 1967, the year she
began making the collages, was reaching the peak
of US involvement, and public opposition
to the war was growing. That year, over 100,000
anti-war protesters gathered at the
Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. made
public his objection to the war on moral grounds. Using the technique of collage
pioneered by the Dadaists, who were also responding
to war in their time, Rosler brought together
images from “Life” magazine of the warfront with
advertisements and photo features of pristine US
homes from “House Beautiful.” The Vietnam War was called
the “living-room war” and marked the first conflict
in which journalists were given near-unlimited access
to combat zones, and their reporting and
photography permeated the news in print and on TV. Rosler said, “The images we
saw were always very far away, in a place we couldn’t imagine.” And her incongruous
images take us immediately there–
Pat Nixon smiling beneath a gilt frame
featuring a twisted body; a well-dressed woman
vacuuming her damask drapes, parting them to reveal
soldiers in the field. The home here is not a space
of escape but of engagement, of confronting the
realities of war in a place usually
understood as separate. Rosler published the
images in anti-war journals and distributed them as
photocopies and flyers, keeping them out of an art
context for a number of years. But no matter
where you see them, the images retain
their ability to shock, to compel us to confront
and try to reconcile the jarring barrage of
images we look at every day, whether within a magazine
or browser window. What does it mean to
look at these images? And what do we do
with that information? There is a lot of political
art that is not explicitly about war. And there are so many
superlative works of art that I’d like to talk about that
engage with political ideas– Elizabeth Catlett’s
woodblock prints that forged powerful images of
the Civil Rights Movement; Group Material’s 1989 “AIDS
Timeline”; Alfredo Jaar’s earth-shattering, we’ll never
look at the world the same way “Rwanda” series; Emily
Jacir’s “Where We Come From,” for which she enacted the wishes
of Palestinians who lacked the freedom of movement between
Israel and the West Bank; the Women on Waves health care
advocacy group that docked a floating clinic in
international waters to provide access to abortions
in areas where it was illegal; the Yes Men’s Bhopal
disaster Dow Chemical hoax; and the Cause Collective’s
ongoing “Truth Booth,” which travels around the world
to record people’s responses to the prompt, “The truth is.” Each of these are works that
have made an indelible impact on the way I see the world and
remind me of a statement artist Tania Bruguera made in 2010. She said, “Political art
is the one transcending the field of art, entering
the daily nature of people, an art that makes them think. Political art has
doubts, not certainties; it has intentions,
not programs; it shares with those who find
it, not imposes on them. Political art is
uncomfortable knowledge.” Personally, I want the
creative output that comes out of this time to be
carefully considered and not a confirmation of what
I already think or know or think I know. I want art that helps
me to understand the motivations of
people other than myself and that calls me to be an
attentive, well-informed, and compassionate person. It’s that
uncomfortable knowledge that sticks with us when
we’re not in front of the art. It’s the tiny seed
of doubt and reminder that informs and shapes
and frames our values. What I appreciate
about political art is the way it encourages us to
constantly reframe our values, to reconsider what we hold to
be right and wrong and true and false at every turn. For me, that is an art that
is undeniably worthwhile. Thanks to prudential for
sponsoring this episode. It’s human nature to prioritize
present needs and what matters most to us today. But when planning
for your retirement, it’s best to prioritize
tomorrow’s needs over today’s. According to a Prudential
study, one in three Americans is not saving enough for
retirement, and over 52% are not on track to be able to
maintain their current standard of living. Go to
and see how if you start saving more today, you can continue
to enjoy the things you love tomorrow.


  • Ricky C.

    I'm surprised muralist art wasn't included in this video. That being said, great work. all of the art featured is extremely interesting. Thank you.

  • Sharai

    political art is my favourite

  • lorenabpv

    i had a history teacher in seventh or eight grade (which was a decade ago) that once asked us why we saw Guernica and felt bad for the destruction, but could only think about it in the past, not related to genocide and war during our times, war that was indeed happening in other parts of the world. pretty deep for middle school and I've never forgot this. it's very easy to see political issues and atrocities as the "other", but they're not.

  • Jacob Bozeman

    These "Case for" videos are always powerful, eye-opening, and inspirational. I can't thank you enough for them. This may sound naive, but they were a huge factor in my decision to declare a second major in art history. Keep doing what you're doing!

  • William Ottow

    Thank you so much, I love these videos!!

  • Margaret Moon

    When I watch these episodes, I have to put down the phone, shut off the 2nd screen, close the book and REALLY pay attention. I don't want to miss any detail.

  • Acquavallo

    This episode is amazing

  • Luiza Jimenez

    in Brazil current political scene art has a strong voice as well. I'm curious to see what pieces will be consider iconic in a few years from now

  • m norton buswell

    black square feels like self-censorship & looks like redaction…I know he said otherwise, but still.

  • Sylvia Morris

    I really appreciate the way that all the Art Assignment videos introduce me to artists I'd never heard of. In particular for this one: Iri and Toshi Maruki. So thanks.

    Some current political artists I like to follow are Peter Drew (Australian, big focus on refugees, asylum seekers, and multicultural Australia in general) and Molly Crabapple (journalist/artist with a focus on incarceration, war, and revolution). Does anyone else in the comments have recommendations for current political artists?

  • popcorn pretzel


  • David Sullivan

    What a wonderfully thought provoking and informative episode. I think it would have been interesting to have included some street art, especially banksy, as so much of street art is deeply political. Oh well, you certainly can't cover everything, and who knows, maybe street art will become it's own episode.

  • James Knight

    Could you do one on propaganda art? I have a weird love for communist propaganda art.

  • Harvey Parafina

    "Have you gotten the idea that war is bad?


    Let's continue. ?"


  • pr sh

    amazing video

  • susan blue

    These "case for" videos are always really good, please keep making them 🙂

  • fii kahlo

    I loved this. The art displayed here was truly stunning. I especially was moved by the Hiroshima-pieces. I can only wish that some day I can move people in this way

  • Rebekkah Schultz

    As a current art college student, this is really inspirational. Thank you for posting! <3
    By the way, I had a research paper as my final for my writing class, and your Ai Weiwei video inspired me to write about him. In short, thanks a million times over! =)

  • ezralleigh

    this episode made me cry and i can't even really explain why

  • Isabella Bornberg

    I'm very impressed by the diversity displayed, no country represented twice. good work

  • Raymond Cline

    Give this video a like if you think it stands as a political artwork itself.

  • Saorla White

    I am doing my GSCE art exam this year. My theme is the word "fight" and this is extremely relevant to me. I have even recreated Guernica in my sketchbook but about Belfast troubles (where am from). Thanks, love this channel

  • Sarah Cullen

    I love the work of Women on Waves – I live in Ireland- but I don't see how they're artists? Could you please explain that a bit more, or direct me towards a resource on this?

  • TobyKid Major

    Every time this channel comes out with a new video, I clear my schedule as best as I can because it always makes me want to paint for hours.

  • Mark Hatlestad

    One of your best videos yet. Thank you!

  • Quinatasya Afridi

    Although I've seen Guernica in the flesh, it did not have as big an impact in the way I perceive the world as Francisco Goya's Disasters of War.

  • Laura Willems

    Of course Prudential would sponsor this. It not only shows that they "support art", but this particular video was mostly about war which connects nicely with loss thus seggwaying oh subtly into preparing and saving for the future. But I wonder how many starving artists they would help even though they have no or very little income. Ah well, PBS hasn't been commercial free for awhile now.

  • Oliver Bollmann

    Wow. Powerful and moving video, especially your closing statements. To be confronted, more so to choose to be confronted, to be engaged, to think, to grow, to get into the world of others, to broaden one's experience and horizons, to use it as a lens and to grow compassion… all wonderful and a powerful invitation to us all. And case totally made for political art. Thank you. 🙂

  • Denis Knyazev

    from Russia with love

  • Mei- Hsuan Michelle Chiang

    Thanks for making this video.

  • Guest Informant

    "I want art that calls for me to be a compassionate person."

    But what if the most important philosophy in the world at the moment is *anti-*compassion, the denial of altruism, enlightened self-interest. The best art (a stylised documentary) I've seen on this is Adam Curtis's All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace.

    There's a temporary link to Episode 1, Love and Power, here

  • Aafreen K

    Case for Banksy sometime?

  • Mr.Baggins

    Could you do a video on Dadaism. I'd love to hear your take on it.

  • Jenna W

    I appreciate that you took the time to clarify that political art as a phrase is vague or ambiguous, and that there can be other names for what you're talking about. When you say these are political in an obvious way, are you taking intentionality into account? I do think that art can be political without the artist intending it to be, and vice versa, I think that art that was intended to be political can be misconstrued or misunderstood as not political (though not necessarily apolitical). After spending my semester studying art during the cold war and talking a lot about political art, I have been thinking about this a lot and I am curious.

  • Jenna W

    Thank you for making Suprematism understandable! I know there is more to it than your concise description, but it's a great, clear starting point.

  • Jenna W

    Beginning to end, this is stunning. Thank you for making this. My art history major mind is crying with joy and admiration for how brilliantly this is articulated.

  • Uinverso

    Favorite video so far!

  • Harshil Bodalwala

    How did I not realize… IT'S THE YETI

  • Helen Peterson

    Could you make a Case For Jeff Koons?

  • nihil1

    No one "lives in another country" in respect to the US.
    We just don't get to vote. 😛

  • Patrick Staight

    In one of my many views on art, I see it as the attempt to create an experience which does not classify, thus forcing the audience to reevaluate their classification system. Thinking about this in context of political art, the amount of intention in that new classification order can vary widely. A lot of art such as dadaism just gives the audience a bunch of things to deal with and walks away. Some art can be very constructive with a specific thesis for a better political world. While other art is more disorienting focusing more on an anti-thesis of things it sees as problems.

    In my opinion art with a thesis like the Hiroshima panels, that tries to understand not just the horror of war but also the intentions of its perpetrators is more beautiful and effective than works like Guernica.

  • mr. elliot

    I think this topic is very interesting but her monotonous rambling kinda ruins it. catch a breath

  • WayfaringAmoeba

    Well I'm glad Trump won.

  • viridae

    I really love the case for series. The Case fro Abstraction in particular was fantastic. More of these/other art history topics please.

  • PoseidonXIII

    The Dadaist movement is my favorite art movement! Great video with an even greater message.

  • Chris Helms

    "Let's continue."

  • Allison Holley

    Guernica is absolutely amazing to see in person! I had learned about it in high school history as we were going through the Spanish Civil War but seeing its immensity at the Reina Sofia almost brought me to tears.

  • 99thTuesday

    Small niggle, but Käthe Kollwitz, would've been born in Königsberg, not Kaliningrad which only became the city's name in 1946. It's a small distinction but I believe an important one.

  • Harrison M

    Could you guys PLEASE make The Case for Shia LaBeouf?

  • Aya M Bayomi

    maybe the Egyptian revolution didn't end the way most of us had hoped but it left us with an abundance of political art, poetry and songs, both old and new, were strongly present in Tahrir square during the 18 infamous days, and since it's Egypt and we laugh off everything that troubles us there were a lot of satire too, the walls of Cairo were covered with powerful massages and calls for the people to join the protests in the streets, glorious graffiti that was immortalized in photos before the regime removed it.
    afterwards there were many cartoons in many new media outlets, performances that rely mainly on monologue and improvisation and of course all those photos, the regime can try as hard as it could to make us forget what happened in 2011, but what can they do about all the photos? all the moments captured by cameras and uploaded to the internet for every one to see? art didn't only help the Arab spring, it's preserving its memory they way it should be remembered not the way the rulers want us to remember it>

  • Joseph Pfister

    The "Case for" videos are the best. Would you guys ever do one on outsider art?

  • linus Halv

    Between which decades would you defy this subject as? (defy as of whats in this video)

  • Ghida Ladkani

    this is incredible, i love the video.

  • Naomi Ellsworth

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you do, but I'm an elementary art teacher, and trust me when I say that there is a huge hole in meaningful art education videos on youtube. I wish so desperately that you could make kid friendly versions of these videos, something I could show to 4th graders with slightly simpler language, and an awareness of violence and nudity in subject choice, but that still carries across the message of "a case for…"

  • xMyPointlessChannelx

    please do one on text based art 🙂

  • Jonathan Trevino

    Kathe Kollwitz would definitely be in my top ten favorite artists. I think a large part of the power of her images that makes them the most pure demonstrations of how all art can be argued to be political, is the depiction of the intimacy of terror as it occurs in a nation as family, showing the nation as a family unit undergoing one intimate assault, being raped by death at the hands of the grand parents: the country that birthed them. Even the depiction of a single family exudes the whole family as a symbol of their torn home, a symbol further strengthened through the dark unity of the images as they are read together.

  • Jonathan Trevino

    The Malevich square is the PERFECT example of the explanation for abstraction that Ive been pushing in the comments so far. Malevich, not unlike other abstractionists, may have claimed that his black square, pre Rothko "abstraction" was not escapism, but it is exactly that, no less than any abstraction is an escape from the binding pre-determinsim and authority of figurative forms. Whether an escape from the terror of war through a blackout symbol or a blackening out of his disillusioned faith that once occupied the corner the square would later reside. This "abstract" offering of "refuge" or "suprematism" or "zero of form" is the quintessential modern approach to the denial, or pseudo abstraction, of God in art, a searing out of the once more figurative, identifiable form that god had up to now in art. The black square was and escape from the once legitimizing motivation for art and the salvation once found in faith, a refuge the icon and the old world from which it was made in, no longer offered for him.

  • Leon Sverdłov

    This video is great – but in 1867, Kaliningrad was called Konigsberg

  • Zhenny ByeBye

    This video was sooo well made! Love it <3

  • Bad Horse

    It's deceptive to "make a case for political art", as if anybody with any power in the art world were saying art shouldn't be political. The art world today accepts as dogma that ALL art is inherently political (being determined by the political/economic system of the artist, rather than by the artist), and jumps to the conclusion that art SHOULD be political. You should rather do a show making the case for non-political art.

  • Broccoli Caulifer

    Incredible episode! Thank you.

  • chicano4041

    Great video but I was really hoping the Mexican muralist from the early 1990's were going to be mentioned or the Chicano print makers (R.C.A.F. or M.A.L.A.F.) during the Chicano art movement, but….I was disappointed.

  • Caroline Kelley

    I was going to like this video until the end when PBS promotes Prudential who tells us that we're not saving enough for retirement. Oh what about the political art that came out of the Occupy movement?

  • Stefano Sabido

    I'm a year late, but I think Banksy should have been mentioned in this video.

  • Gabriel San Miguel

    I hope y’all do a video on Wyndham Lewis soon. Considering his art was praised but ruined his friendships all around him, he is a rather intriguing painter. He is possibly the first artist of the 20th century to cause people to differentiate art from the artist.


    i live in venezuela, so…, we can't express our opinion. and here, art is seen as taboo and a curse. a product of the empire and capitalism.

  • D. Damarjiwo

    Hello! For the last few years, I have enjoyed your work covering art history and the diversity of perspectives you forced me to think about even after. Thank you immensely for that.

    There's just one question I'd like to ask, seeing that we are just discussing how art can give voice to political statements: what do you, as someone well-versed in the art world, think about how capitalism co-opts something as powerful and noble as art? Would you think that is something necessary, considering that the money supports the production of these art in the first place; or would you think of that as something detrimental to its inherent power, speaking truth to power?

    One artist my favorite artist I had recently discovered thanks to your coverage, Ai Weiwei, for example, had quite a similar dilemma. While his works powerfully voice the tension over tradition and capitalist modernity, evidently he himself cannot quite avoid the traps of capitalism he was critiquing against. Several of his artworks had sold on major auctions for hundreds or thousands of dollars, to decorate the homes of people who can afford these prices.

    Problem is, as many critics of capitalism say, capitalism fills up the world — it coopts, commodifies, and alienates things we would never think it could. Even this video ironically confirms this truth, by showing a 30-second advert of an insurance company after a well-thought essay on political art.

    As a person studying the history of the artworks (and maybe participated in the production of few as well), what do you think about that? Will the (inevitable) cooptation of capitalism over the art world cloud their truthful power? I'd like to hear what you think about these!

  • Tesnim Guesmi

    Where is Banksy?

  • Ella Starbrook

    This video makes me want to cut up some magazines and punch a politician

  • Tao Wells

  • Tyrone

    All left-wing. Of course, the right-wing is incapable of making good art. I say that as someone who voted for Trump in my first election.

    Political art is just another form of self-satisfaction, seeing your acceptable beliefs validated and reinforced, knowing that you aren't a toothless, uneducated, inbred, illiterate, parochial, white trash red neck. It's all partisanship.

    It ultimately doesn't matter. If you're white, you either have the option of being the respectable slave constantly prostrating yourself before others, a life of never-ending self-deprecation as your existence is whittled away, or you get to be the subhuman redneck who polishes his guns while he mumbles about the revolution that will never come. All that remains is nihilism.

    It might be for the best if AI removes humanity from the world.


    "Have you got the idea that war is bad yet?" Depends who you're talking to out here lady. If it's me I'd say, "Yes it's bad" in a heartbeat, because I want my heart to go on beating. If you're asking some powerful war monger like President Bush, or the other WMD chicken hawks with their greedy eyes on Middle East oil plunder. If you're asking some executive from the the massive US militery industrial complex. If the question is aimed at militery men champing at the bit for another fabricated war to justify America's massive military spending… Then those guys would have to say, "War is good for business. Napalm strikes on women and kids and babies and all."

  • Mylène Genty

    i never leave comments on youtube videos, ever. but this! is amazing. diverse, profoundly interesting…thank you!

  • sochuiwon priscilla

    The Japanese couple and their beautiful work brought me to tears.. Tragedy captured so beautifully

  • Plipp the First

    As a historian I think it is very telling that this video showcases such an unusual diversity of artists, compared to your videos on modernism and other art movements. It speaks to the fact that war and suffering is geographically universal, but also closer to women's and other marginalised group's history and experience.

  • Rahul Tiwari

    Your content is unique and it made me love art even more

  • George Dunbar

    Pity that they focused so heavily on 'oppression art' which, while a valid and interesting form of political art, is just one type of it.

  • Andrew Ford

    I love this channel.

  • TheLittlePrince

    This was a great video. One thing though: I don't think all art should be considered political. Everything does not need to be about politics. But I loved the video

  • John Churchill

    True art is free of all politics, religion etc. The moment you add any kind of ideology, it automatically becomes propoganda.

  • Theodore Harris

    The Art Assignment: Book Club Suggestion
    Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism By Theodore A. Harris
    Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism is a series of minimal, image and quotation based works that uses poetry to confront mainstream art criticism, art history, to look beneath the surface politics of aesthetics and formalism in a presentation of art that is not self-referential or to put a Black face on the art history of imperialism.Formalism functions as the cosmetics of art criticism like aluminum siding on a slumlord’s property. It is an attempt to disguise what is crumbling beneath the surface politics of its proselytizing church bells,ringing, in the mega church / museums and galleries where there are more Black bodies guarding the white cube then exhibiting in it.What marginalized artist know is that canon formation is a battlefield and critical art is the weapon! In the crossed out words of Basquiat to repel ghosts.

  • Tony Fox

    wow…I think Rosler invented the Meme that we know today!

  • medviation

    Case for propaganda art?

  • EWKification

    The Case Against Political Art in one sentence: if you don't agree with the politics the art becomes instantly irrelevant or pernicious.

  • Mar tin


  • Olivia Abrahamian

    Art activism and political art are not the same thing.

  • That One Guy

    I’ve been watching your videos and I want to thank you for helping me wedge some space in my mind for interest in art. And can we get a batch of the hidden rose hoodie in grey pretty please?

  • Paul Hewitt

    Ummm…you've got the wrong Georgia there. US states are not allowed to negotiate separate trade agreements. ;^)

  • Ruben Granz

    Why is there only leftwing political art shown here?

  • Pat W

    politics are at the center of art thanks for covering it

  • Liutauras Grieze

    Art is not political

  • Liutauras Grieze

    Why do not talk about Marxist atrocity like 100milijons killed in Cina and Soviet union.

  • Terry Canaan

    Why is this so quiet?

  • Edward Kennedy

    Are you interested in seeing how an artist draws a life model? Watch the trailer for the life modelling documentary NAKED:

  • joebstarsurfer

    pc art are you fcking kidding Metoo i forgot that in 1 second.

  • Don Bailey

    Picasso's bulls stampeding through a town is as political as you can get.
    You can say what you want but it best not to poke tigers in the eyes with sharp sticks.

  • Don Bailey

    I would remind you you may silence a man, but that does not mean you have convinced him

  • Don Bailey

    I have seen a man break down a wall only to be bitten by a snake.
    Books of wisdom.
    There is nothing new under the sun.


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