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ART & THE COLD WAR

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by

Ally Healy

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of ART & THE COLD WAR

(1976 - 1977)
War Influence on Art today
During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think they've ever remembered.

~Andy Warhol
Hammer & Sickle Series
ART WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Art was used as a tool in the Cold War, to separate countries ideology and culturally.

Modern art is still influenced by war, for example English street artist Banksy. In August 2005, Banksy painted nine images on the Israeli West Bank barrier, making a comment on the conflict in Palestine.
Picasso joined the communist party in 1944 and then began to include more political content in his work until his death in 1973.

Picasso's Dove of Peace was first seen at the First International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1949, and became the emblem for the Peace Movement during the Cold War years.

Many of Picasso’s works of this period function explicitly as ‘propaganda’ for the Communist cause and the Peace Movement.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956)
Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987)
THE TECHNIQUES
Andy Warhol is an American pop artist most active in the 1960s. Pop art conveyed the spirit of American consumerism and capitalism with a concentration in pop culture, hence the name.

The Hammer and Sickle series was created in 1976 after a trip to Italy where the most common graffiti in public spaces was this symbol found on Soviet flags.

The symbols originated from the Russian union of the peasants with the industrial workers. The famers and workers, together, formed the Soviet Russian State. The red symbolizes the blood that fell from workers as they fought for freedom.

ART & THE COLD WAR
ANDY WARHOL
There is reason to believe that the CIA financed, organized, and assured the success of the American abstract expressionist movement. Abstract expressionism has a strong emphasis on spontaneous, automatic and subconscious creation.

Jackson Pollock was an important figure for the CIA because during the peak of the Cold War, the CIA secretly promoted abstract expressionism in order to discredit the socialist realism of the Soviet Union.

Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style with the purpose to promote the goals of socialism and communism. This art movement was financed and promoted by the USSR.

The CIA's purpose of promoting artists like Pollock was to shift the center of the art world away from Europe to the United States, and to create a national art that would celebrate liberty.

That is not to say, however, that Abstract expressionism is any less of a statement or movement in the history of art because of this government support.
JACKSON POLLOCK
PABLO PICASSO
Warhol wanted to recreate this symbol with a new expression, something less flat than that of the Soviet flag. In 1977, these works were exhibited in New York City under the title "Still Lives".
Jackson Pollock became a
“weapon of the Cold War”
.
~John Cockcroft
Full transcript