In early 2016, Prof. David McCarthy of the Department of Art will discuss his recently-released book, American Artists Against War, 1935—2010 (University of California Press) on the Rhodes campus Jan. 28 and at the New York Public Library Feb. 10.
Beginning with responses to fascism in the 1930s and ending with protests against the Iraq wars, McCarthy shows in his book how American artists—including Philip Evergood, David Smith, H. C. Westermann, Ed Kienholz, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, Chris Burden, Robert Arneson, Martha Rosler, and Coco Fusco—have borne witness, registered dissent, and asserted the enduring ability of imagination to uncover truths about individuals and nations.
McCarthy has charted a 75-year history of antiwar art and activism and will be joined by artists Joyce Kozloff and Martha Rosler for his talk in New York. He will provide a historical overview of the continuities and changes in antiwar art from the 1930s until today, while Kozloff and Rosler will contextualize this broader history with their experiences as artists and activists since the 1960s.
An expert on 20th-century American art, McCarthy also is the author of The Nude in American Painting, 1950–1980, Pop Art, and H. C. Westermann at War: Art and Manhood in Cold War America, as well as essays in American Art, Art Bulletin, and Art Journal. His research has been supported by Luce Foundation and Smithsonian fellowships. The project on artists’ opposition to war is the product of years in archives and libraries across the United States.