Politics in Modern Art

The essay "Politics in Modern Art" investigates politics in modern art. The artistic movement against the polity during the 1960s and 1970s is particularly high in California. Here, there is a striking confluence of political agitation and passionately engaged art. The San Francisco Bay area took the lead role nationally with the foundation of the free speech movement.Then, the state gave birth to the Beat and hippie countercultures, which was responsible for many profound social change across the country. In writing about the contemporary art Peter Selz, Susan Landauer observed: While the civil rights and peace movements grew simultaneously in cities nationwide, California played a significant role in their development. In their wake came the Chicano labor movement in the San Joaquin Valley, the revolutionary Black Panther Party in Oakland, as well as some of the most radical manifestations of gay liberation, Red Power, and environmental activism. All of these activities was accompanied by an outpouring of political art unmatched elsewhere in the United States. Recent commentary of the subject to date has been made by Richard Candida Smith’s Utopia and Dissent: Art, Poetry, and Politics in California. Candida explored and examined the ideological , socioeconomic and historic roots of both political ferment of the recent times and its artistic expression. He pointed out that many of the values of liberty and dissent taken up by the New Left were first articulated by the community of artists and poets.