01 August 2013

On the Uses of Moden Art

 Orange, Red, Yellow © Mark Rothko

I am pre-occupied with the pragmatics of visual images, meaning with their uses. We have known for years that during the Cold War the US government sponsored tours of, for instance, jazz musicians to the Soviet block as examples of "freedom." Now, from this report at The Independent, we know that the CIA was involved in the dissemination of abstract modern art for much the same purpose. Surprise! I've posted here before about complexities at the intersection of art and politics in Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell, among others. This latest report helps underscore that politics depends not just on the posture of artists and other art world denizens, but of agents from other worlds as well.

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