“The Vietnam War may seem long ago and far away to more recent generations but it was not only a profoundly divisive and thereby defining event for many who came of age during it, it remains for Americans of all ages a nagging example of an inherently ill-conceived and unwinnable foreign adventure in the post-colonial era and an unhealed wound in the national psyche. More so than in any war before it, the cultural community as a whole and visual artists in particular responded by making work and organizing protests that raise countless questions about the moral obligations and political efficacy—or inefficacy—of artistic activism, as well as about the aesthetics of dissent. Speaking from the position of a scholar who came of age during another round of such misadventures—the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—Matthew Israel closely examines the legacy of Vietnam War era art with keen and fair-minded attention to its ideals, achievements and failures. His is an indispensable book about a grim, much-ignored chapter in the history of American art in the second half of the 20th century, a book about how ‘then’ contains lessons for ‘now’—and for the future.”
Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War will be published by University of Texas Press this summer.
Yesterday Matthew was named one of fifty “influential art figures to follow on Twitter” by Complex.
On February 12th, Matthew will be speaking about Artsy and “exploring art online” as part of a panel at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Carter Cleveland, the founder and CEO of Artsy, discussed Artsy and The Art Genome Project on CNBC yesterday. Watch it here.
The full catalog is available here.