Featured Artist: Leon Golub

Chicago-born artist Leon Golub (1922–2004) never abandoned representational painting, even at the height of the abstract art movement in the United States. Instead Golub produced a body of politically-engaged work that confronted the injustices he saw born out of the Cold War: from destructive dictatorships and civil rights violations to the advent of global terrorism. In the first half of the ’60s, Golub and his artist wife, … Continue reading Featured Artist: Leon Golub

Featured Artist: Komar and Melamid

Upon graduating from Moscow’s Stroganov School of Art and Design in 1967, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid forged an artistic partnership that would last 36 years. At the forefront of the Soviet Nonconformist Art movement, they participated in exhibitions with other young Russian artists who renounced the strict artistic dogma of Socialist Realism. In 1972 Komar and Melamid founded Sots Art, mixing the aesthetics of … Continue reading Featured Artist: Komar and Melamid

Featured Artist: Shepard Fairey

Best known as the designer of the Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster, created for the 2008 presidential campaign, American street artist and illustrator Shepard Fairey is one of the most influential artists of his generation. Fairey honed his skills in the skateboarding scene of the late 1980s before bringing his distinctive style to the walls of some of the world’s premier art museums. Although he is … Continue reading Featured Artist: Shepard Fairey

Featured Artist: Keith Haring

A recent exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris highlighted the significance of Keith Haring as ‘a subversive, militant Pop icon’. The American artist used his apparently infantile and comic images of stick men and barking dogs to engage with challenging political themes as he campaigned tirelessly for social justice and the freedom of the individual. Imbued with the street culture of 1980s’ … Continue reading Featured Artist: Keith Haring

Erró: Iceland’s Cold War Artist

The artist formerly known as Guðmundur Guðmundsson, who goes by the more pronounceable alias Erró, has been inspired by the Cold War throughout a long and varied career. Erró’s riotous canvases reflect his eclectic personal history, from his birth in 1932 in Iceland, to his travels across Europe and his current residency in Paris, Thailand and on the island of Formentera. Developing his artistic practice in … Continue reading Erró: Iceland’s Cold War Artist

Featured Artist: Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932, at the geographical and temporal epicentre of 20th-century politics. By the time he decided to pursue a career as a painter, he was living in Soviet-controlled East Germany and the only option open to him was to train as a socialist realist artist. After graduating from the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Richter began to resent the restrictions … Continue reading Featured Artist: Gerhard Richter

Featured Artist: Wang Guangyi

The Chinese painter and sculptor, Wang Guangyi, is the most celebrated member of the Political Pop art movement. Raised in the midst of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution, where he spent his schooldays creating propaganda drawings, Wang’s art now parodies this style to comment on the ongoing influence of Cold War politics. Wang’s most famous work, a series of paintings under the title Great Criticism, blends propagandistic imagery from … Continue reading Featured Artist: Wang Guangyi

Featured Artist: James Rosenquist

Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1933, James Rosenquist began his career as a painter of commercial billboards. Images from the world of advertising have continued to permeate his work, but his vibrant, multi-referential style has also lent itself perfectly to absorbing and critiquing the politicised iconography of the Cold War. While at the forefront of the American Pop art movement in the 1960s, … Continue reading Featured Artist: James Rosenquist