Appropriation and ideological critique

Contemporary artists use copying and other visual methods to deconstruct the myths that inform our daily lives.

1980 - present

Beginner's guide

videos + essays

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Art, Race, and the Internet: Mendi + Keith Obadike’s <em>Black.Net.Art Actions</em>
Art, Race, and the Internet: Mendi + Keith Obadike’s Black.Net.Art Actions

Like in the rest of net culture, race was not a common topic in early net art—but that doesn’t mean there weren’t artists addressing it.

Ai Weiwei, <em>Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn</em>
Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn

How can the destruction of an artifact also be an act of preservation?

Masami Teraoka, <em>American Kabuki</em>
Masami Teraoka, American Kabuki

Teraoka draws on Japan's brilliant history of art and kabuki theatre to creating beauty from heart-rending tragedy.

Hans Haacke, <em>Seurat’s “Les Poseuses” (small version), 1884-1975</em>
Hans Haacke, Seurat’s “Les Poseuses” (small version), 1884-1975

Haacke documents the provenance of a Seurat sketch held in a bank vault to lay bare the commodification of art.

Anselm Kiefer, <em>Bohemia Lies by the Sea</em>
Anselm Kiefer, Bohemia Lies by the Sea

Is this a painting or a relief sculpture? Unclear. Whatever it is, Kiefer’s landscape is falling apart.

Anselm Kiefer, <em>Shulamite</em>
Anselm Kiefer, Shulamite

In this canvas, Kiefer transformed architecture meant to honor Nazi heros into a memorial for their victims.

Julie Mehretu, <em>Stadia II</em>
Julie Mehretu, Stadia II

In this work, a contemporary Ethiopian artist explores the utopian potential of chaos in a globalizing world.

Ai Weiwei, <em>Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)</em>
Ai Weiwei, Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)

Ai Weiwei planted seeds for change—100 million of them—at Tate Modern.

Nari Ward, <em>We the People</em> (black version)
Nari Ward, We the People (black version)

Ward refuses to let viewers take the idea of “We the People” for granted.

The Case for Ai Weiwei
The Case for Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei synthesizes the clash between reverence for the past and the irrepressible drive for the future.

Alfredo Jaar, <em>A Logo for America</em>
Alfredo Jaar, A Logo for America

Using the language of advertising, Jaar conveys a political message about who “Americans” really are.

Keith Haring, <em>Subway Drawings</em>
Keith Haring, Subway Drawings

Haring’s subway drawings were born from his desire to create art that was accessible for everyone.

Selected Contributors