The Visual Artist in America

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The United States government saw the avant-garde art of the 1960’s as a perfect tool for the American propaganda machine.

Artists of the Jackson Pollack stripe and splatter were promoted as icons of American freedom -cowboys combating the tyranny of Soviet propaganda and Socialist Realism. But when the cold war thawed, champions of free expression became less useful to the White House vision of the New World Order. And over the next decade, congress slashed funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, cut out grants to visual artists, and loosed artistic freedom to the freedom of the market

We now live in a world where the only art that makes news is a Vermeer exhibition or the Virgin Mary in a bikini; instead of ideas, we talk about decency, instead of progress we talk about price tags. Have we abandoned our visual artists, have they abandoned us?
(Hosted by Dick Gordon)


Michael Brenson, former art critic for the New York Times and author of “Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Artist in America”

and Barbara Kruger, visual artist.