The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, September 20, 2019

Election-year exhibition looks at founding ideals and a wide range of artists' views of American society
Skylar Fein (b. 1968), Black Flag (Marcuse), 2009. Painted Wood, 68 x 114-1/2 in.

GHENT, NY.- Ever since the events leading to Independence created our democracy, citizens of the United States of America have demonstrated their pleasure and disgust with government in an unrivaled expression of honesty, passion, patriotism, intellect and love for their country by exercising their right to vote.

“Vote for Me and I’ll Set You Free: Works from the Collection of Lawrence B. Benenson” draws on historical documents, artifacts and works of contemporary art to create a kaleidoscopic view of the political process of voting and the role of the public and the artist in the political process. It touches on themes of aspirations, equality, justice, power, free speech, minority opinion and representation, hypocrisy and what it means to be part of the most fundamental aspect of the political process – the right to elect leaders – regardless of political orientation.

The exhibition is being held at Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, NY, from September 22, 2012 through November 30, 2012.

Highlights of the exhibition include an 1864 printing of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln to raise funds for wounded Civil War soldiers. It goes on view on the 150th anniversary of the date Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, giving the South 100 days to end the rebellion or face losing their slaves.

Other highlights include an early printing of the Constitution of the United States in The Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer. Printed less than two weeks after it was approved by the Constitutional Convention of September 17, 1787, ironically, at least to us today, the text of the Constitution is followed immediately by an advertisement offering a reward for a runaway slave.

Also on view is the first engraving of the Declaration of Independence, from 1818, as Americans, newly nostalgic for first-generation patriotism following the War of 1812, wanted to document the country’s historic break from an oppressive colonial power.

Later objects and works of art include important contributions by Modern and contemporary artists whose paintings, drawings and prints recognize the American dream and look at how it has played out in American society. Ben Shahn’s Sacco and Vanzetti and Their Guards (1931-1932) is a dignified portrayal of the anarchists who were convicted of murder and executed following a notoriously flawed trial. Saul Steinberg’s Truth (1959) illustrates the word of the title with the R inverted and all images reflected and upside down in a calm sea.

Among contemporary works, Skylar Fein’s Black Flag (Marcuse), 2009, re-imagines the American flag with alternating stripes. One set of stripes shows sale-price come-ons (“DISCOUNTS,” “WON’T LAST”) and the other social criticism by Herbert Marcuse. Neo-Conceptual artist Mark Lombardi’s 1999 Oliver North, Lake Resources of Panama c. 1984-1986 (4th Version) charts out in a five-by-almost-seven foot drawing/diagram the spheres of influence that ran through the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s. Michele Pred’s 2005 Star Spangled Banner, is a mixed media work that creates an American flag out of razor blades that airport travelers surrendered to Transportation Safety Administration personnel.

The works on view, collector Lawrence B. Benenson explains in a brief essay, “signify the beauty and the ugliness of humanity.” Throughout the exhibition, which is provocative and affirming and at the same time contains language and images not suitable for all audiences, including Black Panthers posters that use profane or racist derogatory language, the message is that numerous voices exist – and have for over two centuries – in the American political landscape.

And however solemn or outrageous those voices are, each carries the same weight. The ability of Americans to determine the country’s political future comes through the act of voting. Just as loyalists in 18th century Maine sided with King George, racists in the mid-20th century sided with George Wallace and militants in the 1960s and 1970s sought power, it is up to the individual to determine the nation’s future.

Today's News

September 30, 2012

No day without night: Stadel Museum opens a show on Dark Romanticism in Autumn

Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts meet: Mayas prophesized, but not end of world

Large-scale pigment images from William Eggleston's Los Alamos series on view at Gagosian Gallery

Sotheby's Paris to offer the Marsel & Zaira Mis Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art

SFMOMA Presents Alessandro Pessoli's first solo museum exhibition on the West Coast

First comprehensive exhibition of the work by Thomas Scheibitz opens at MMK Museum fr Moderne Kunst

Exhibition at the National Library in Bucharest shows Romanian artists resisted regime

Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst hopes to initiate a rediscovery of the work by Vlassis Caniaris

Buddhist statue found by Nazis shortly before World War II is made from meteorite

Hammer Museum presents first retrospective of Indian-born American artist Zarina

Election-year exhibition looks at founding ideals and a wide range of artists' views of American society

Long overdue Giuseppe Capogrossi retrospective opens at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

"All His Sons: The Brueghel Dynasty" exhibition on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Irish famine museum opening at Connecticut university

Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna presents works works from the private collection of Ernesto Esposito

Jen Stark's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles opens at Martha Otero Gallery

Jeremy Deller's first mid-career survey on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia

Historian, 95, brings Palm Beach landmark to life

New York public libraries announce initiative to connect schools citywide to millions of books

Joseph Goebbels love letters fail to sell in Connecticut

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lvy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful