Iran’s Hidden Art Collection

The inauguration of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) in 1977 would soon prove to be an untimely event. Less than a year later, the Iranian Revolution erupted on 7 January 1978, resulting the following spring in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the present Islamic Republic. The plan to found a modern art museum in the Iranian capital was the … Continue reading Iran’s Hidden Art Collection

I’m Glad the CIA is ‘Immoral’

On 18 September the US Central Intelligence Agency celebrated its 66th birthday. The CIA’s clandestine support for art during the Cold War is now well-known. Frances Stonor Saunders’ 1995 article in the Independent declaring that Modern Art was CIA ‘Weapon’ remains a popular introduction to Cold War painting and was developed into the best-seller, Who Paid the Piper?: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (Granta, 2000). … Continue reading I’m Glad the CIA is ‘Immoral’

The Greatest Living Painter in the United States?

On 8 August 1949, Abstract Expressionism decisively entered the American national psyche when the popular weekly magazine LIFE asked of Jackson Pollock, ‘Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?’ Leaning against one of his enigmatic ‘drip’ canvases, cigarette in mouth and oozing anti-establishment cool in a pose reminiscent of Hollywood heroes of the era such as James Dean, Pollock immediately became the … Continue reading The Greatest Living Painter in the United States?

American Modernism Comes to Moscow

Several weeks after the Soviet Exhibition opened in New York, the reciprocal American Exhibition opened at Moscow’s Sokolniki Park on 25 July 1959. The art on display was in stark contrast to the heroic socialist realist paintings and sculptures shown in New York. Although American realism was represented in works by celebrated artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and Edward … Continue reading American Modernism Comes to Moscow

What & Where: Lenin goes Abstract

What: Portrait of V.I. Lenin with Cap, in the Style of Jackson Pollock III by Art & Language Where: Tate Britain, London, UK Uninitiated visitors to Tate Britain have been left scratching their heads while contemplating Portrait of V.I. Lenin with Cap, in the Style of Jackson Pollock III. It is one of a series of paintings by Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden, British artists operating under the … Continue reading What & Where: Lenin goes Abstract