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Political Art

Art in itself is deemed to be political, whether it has the efficacy to be political or not. No work of art is just itself, it always has the quality to refer more than what it projects in its given medium. Certain examples in political art, that have shaped the history of 20th century will be Soviet avant-garde art from about 1920, Mexican mural paintings, the United States' WPA projects of the 1930s, etc.

In current usage, political art refers to works with overtly political subjects made to express criticism of the status quo. Certain political works include the nationalist efforts of Abanindranath Tagore in his work Bharat Mata. Other modernists like MF Hussain and his stirring controversial works with feminine body and Hindu Mother Goddess. Contemporary works by Riyas Komu, Pablo Bartholomew, Rashid Rana, Jitish Kalat, Reena Saini Kallat, etc are all very political in their body of work.

Further Reading

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Political Art


Banksy, One nation under CCTV, 2008, located in Central London