WASH POST’S ARTISTS UNITED! LISTING SIGNALS GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF POLITICAL ART
The On Exhibit page of The Washington Post’s Weekend Section is reserved for listing Museum exhibits only.
It’s a hard-and-fast rule that, as far as I know, has never been broken.
But this weekend it was, for reasons that could reflect nothing more than an editor’s whim. Or, more likely, signal a sea change in what’s expected of art,what art’s purpose is, that could influence the trajectory of art for the whole of the 21st Century.
Let me explain.
To my total surprise and utter amazement, the On Exhibit page, published last Friday, not only listed ARTISTS UNITED!, the exhibit was featured on the page. That’s The Post’s way of saying “this is something you ought to see. It’s more interesting and more important” than the other exhibits we’re listing here. You know, the ones at The National Gallery of Art, the Sackler, the Phillips and all of Washington’s other great museums.
Without question, the ARTISTS UNITED! listing was a tribute to the 40-some artists whose visually interesting and thought-provoking art allows the exhibit to present a clear and unforgettable picture of what’s at stake in the coming election.
But the listing was, I think, doubly significant because it was recog-nition, by what is still one of the world’s most important and influ-ential sources of information, that art that’s timely, relevant and that helps us understand the most con-tentious political issues of the day is a legitimate genre of art that should be taken seriously by this country’s important museums and prominent private galleries, as well as by collectors and the public at large.