PRINT December 1975



The articles in this issue imply that certain aspects of authoritarian art are broader in scope and more effective in impact than has been supposed. Our writers here point out a chronic flaw in perception: the failure to understand the significance of most world art’s alignment with the interests of the powerful. Such a phenomenon is acknowledged by our historical literature without making the essential comparison with the realities it pointedly misrepresents. But the human problems raised by art are themselves distorted whenever it is imagined that art is socially neutral.

Two obvious questions overlap in these essays. Who were the contemporary controllers of the visual statements, and for what purposes? What has been the effect on art of specific ideological interests it has agreed, or has been made, to serve? Americans are extremely innocent about the ideological content of art except

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