Stalinists and Artists in the U.S. "Red Decade"

Cantor, Helen

Publisher:  Workers Vanguard
Date Written:  29/05/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX17904

New York University's recent art show, "The Left Front: Radical Art in the 'Red Decade,' 1929-1940," was a bittersweet experience. In the present period, with successful workers struggles few and far between, the pro-working-class images -- photos, movies of mass May Day parades in New York City, pictures of Great Depression misery, protests, strikes, the fight against Jim Crow segregation -- were, of course, moving. But there was something wrong with this picture. It wasn’t the individual artworks themselves, but the sentimental, prettifying view of and narrow focus on the U.S. Communist Party (CP).

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