NO!art No!trump No!fascism
opening in May 2017
This show aims to provide a platform for artist’s responses and ideas about resistance to the rise of the far-right and the presidency of Donald Trump. As Red Wedge wrote of the disaster of Trump’s electoral college victory – and the failure of both avant-garde and popular cultural resistance to Trump:
“The failure of this weak cultural resistance comes the fact that it has at best tenuous connections with any contemporary social movement, and almost no connection whatsoever with the interests of poor and working class people. What it does have, on the other hand, is intimate and largely uncontested ties to the neoliberal market and liberal ideology (masquerading, on occasion, as “post-modernism” or post-something else).”
A culture of resistance, therefore, must be free from mainstream constraints if it is to wage war against the far right.
We take the title from the 1960s art group organized by Boris Lurie. Lurie, born in 1924 in Leningrad, was taken prisoner by the Nazis at age sixteen and imprisoned for four years in Buchenwald and other concentration camps. He moved to New York City in 1946. In 1960, along with Sam Goodman and Stanley Fischer he created the NO!art movement. Their goal was to reconnect avant-garde art with the “subjects of real life” – in opposition to both Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Much of the art world rejected both Lurie and his movement. “The art market is nothing but a racket,” Lurie famously argued. “There is an established pyramid which everybody who wants to benefit from it has to participate—if he is permitted to participate."