Past Partisans

Exhibition Review

  • "The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ 1929–1940"

  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois
  • 17 Jan 2014 - 22 Jun 2014

American journalist Eugene Lyons coined the term “Red Decade” for the period in the 1930s when the Russian Revolution energized leftists in the United States. The Block Museum’s recent exhibition showcased works created by artists involved in the American Communist Party’s John Reed Clubs during the Great Depression. Organized chronologically by curators John Murphy and Jill Bugajski, the exhibition included 130 mostly black-and-white prints, a small number of books, drawings, paintings and periodicals, and an innovative catalogue that brings the underlying question of what responsibilities artists have to society (if any) into the present.

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