chapter  4
24 Pages

The Artist as a Secret Agent: Liberalism Against Populism

ByManfred J. Holler

Art is the laboratory of great emotions, deep thoughts, intense beliefs, and new ideas. If this is so, it would seem appropriate to look for the effects and impacts of rational obfuscation and transparency in art when it meets politics. In order to illustrate the interplay of rational obfuscation and transparency in politics, the author have proposed that during the Cold War the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) supported art, more specifically, Abstract Expressionist painting in becoming the dominating Western aesthetic culture. George Dondero succeeded to force the withdrawal of a State Department exhibition called 'Advancing American Art'. The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 26 July 1947 in order to coordinate military and diplomatic intelligence. If the CIA, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Congress of Cultural Freedom were major players in the cultural warfare game, then the Abstract Expressionist artists were the pawns.