Week 10: Discussion, Protest Art. Post due Wed 10/24 Replies due Sun 10/28

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For this discussion, we’re going to look at protest art, IN and OUT of the traditional gallery environment.

Watch or read all linked content prior to crafting your response. Thanks!

Gallery Artists:


Kara Walker at the MAC: 24 Jan – 27 Apr 2014. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Kara Walker at the MAC: 24 Jan - 27 Apr 2014.

Using the simple black silhouettes in large scale on a white gallery wall, Walker utilizes historically inspired stylized figure to create visual narratives that explore America’s past (and present) relationship with African culture, slavery, and the romanticized nostalgia of “Southern” culture. Her images are biting, and controversial, and it is this very reason that she makes this work.

ROBERT MOTHERWELLRobert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 57 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 57

Robert Motherwell was an artist that worked in the nonrepresentational styles called Abstract Expressionist. Even though his paintings lacked clear objective iconography, his painting’s subject matter focused on the Spanish Civil War, specifically the authoritarian dominance of the Franco regime. Since these works are non-representational, they require some contextual research of the work in order to fully understand the meaning.

Out of the Gallery Artists:

JR http://www.jr-art.net (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Using massive scale photography of the everyday underrepresented segment of society, JR’s work addresses poverty, politics and gender. Bringing social awareness to the public, JR’s work predominantly exists in the public space.

Recent work: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/arts/design/jr-artist-mexico-border-wall.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

GUERRILLA GIRLS (image 12.1) https://www.guerrillagirls.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Since the early 1980’s this anonymous art collaborative has been educating the public, utilizing the visual language of advertising, with their posters and billboards. Their messages inform us about the gender inequities in the art world. Through their efforts the public are informed of the lack of equal pay for women, the lack of women artists in museum collections (despite the over-representation of a nude woman’s body as subject matter), and many other true social inequities experienced by women.


Part 1: Answer all of the following general questions for two artists; one Gallery artist and one Outside of the Gallery artist:

  1. Who is the audience for the artworks in this chapter, everyone or a select few? Please describe in detail.
  2. How is the artwork’s audience (us, those who see them) relevant to the work? Is there a relationship between audience and content?


Part 2: Now that you’ve learned about these artists, chose the one artist whose work resonated with you the most personally. Find a specific artwork (and imbed it in the discussion) that you feel best represents this message. Include the artist, title, size, and location.

Answer the following:

  1. Artwork embedded, artist, title, size, location.
  2. What is the message/goal of the art? Be specific.
  3. How effectively does the artwork communicate it message? Provide specific examples in you answer. Does the range (the number of viewers) of audience affect this?
  4. Do you think the artist’s success in the artwork is directly related to the size of the audience that see it, since it is about protest? Be specific.
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