FAR OUT! REBELLION AND REVOLUTION IN ART FROM THE 1960s
Artistically, socially, culturally, and politically, the 1960s was a decade of extraordinary change. Inspired by the rebellious ethos of the modernist avant-garde as well as the “question everything” spirit of the ‘60s, artists transformed aesthetics, styles and subjects, and assumptions about the primacy of the art object and art’s place in society. Many artists also responded to and participated in movements for social change – for Civil Rights, Black Power, and Women’s Liberation, for the rights of migrant farmworkers and the empowerment of students – and against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, that shook the foundations of society. Whether motivated primarily by a drive for radical artistic experimentation, revolutionary social and political convictions, or visions of justice and freedom, artists of the 1960s challenged the authority of established art traditions and the structures and conventions of the art world as never before.
Melanie Herzog is professor at Edgewood College where she teaches a range of art history courses that reflect her interests in gender, race and ethnicity, and socially engaged art and artists, among other subjects. She is a leading scholar on the work of Elizabeth Catlett and has written extensively on the social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin.