Archive | Abstract Expressionism & the CIA RSS feed for this section

CIA funds 1954 Animal Farm

11 Dec

I’ve previously watched George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1954) and have read the book many times, but upon reading this article, it made me look at things a little differently in terms of the perspective of the movie. The movie follows the story very well and is a good visual guide to go off what the article has mentioned.

Here the full 1954 version of the movie on Youtube:

L. Engle


A Sample of The New American Painting Exhibition of 1958

4 Dec

After reading The Independents article on Modern Art as a weapon for the CIA, link to article, I decided to visit the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s covert exhibition: The New American Painting exhibition of 1958.

Specific Object

The following is an exerpt from the March 11th, 1958 exhibition press release:

“”The first comprehensive exhibition to be sent to Europe of advanced tendencies in American painting will start a year-long tour this month under the auspices of the International Council at the Museum of Modern Art. Entitled The New American Painting, the show, selected from public and private collections “by Dorothy C. Miller, Curator of Museum Collections, consists of four to five pictures “by each of 17 artists. It will open at the Kunsthalle in Basel on April 19 where it will he seen concurrently with a one-man show of paintings “by Jackson Pollock, also “being circulated under the Council1s sponsorship. Organized in response to numerous requests by the Museum’s International Program, under the direction of Porter A. McCray, the exhibition will be shown later in Milan and then in other major cities including Berlin, Brussels, Paris and London.

The 17 painters represented in the exhibition are William Baziotes, James Brooks, Sam Francis, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Grace Hartigan, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko,Theodoros* Stamos, Clyfford Still, Bradley Walker Tomlin and Jack Tworkov. Although these artists have been associated with the movement generally called Abstract Expressionism, according to Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Director of Museum Collections, who has written the introduction for the exhibition catalog, they dislike labels and shun the words “movement” and “school.” “None speaks for the others any more than he paints for the others. Their individualism is uncompromising and as a matter of principle they do nothing deliberately in their work to make ‘communication’ easy.””

The following selection of paintings were featured in the exhibition:

Dwarf - William Baziotes

Dwarf, 1947  by William Baziotes

Karrig, 1956 by James Brooks

Diary of a Seducer, 1945 by Arshile GORKY

Tournament, 1951 by Adolph GOTTLIEB

Beggar’s Joys, 1954-1955 by Philip Guston

Cardinal, 1950 by Franz KLINE

Personage with Yellow Ochre and White, 1947 by Robert MOTHERWELL

CIA SOFT POWER during the cold war

13 Nov



Pollock on the background,

blobs of red,

shred the paint,

let the blood soak, only in the insides,

colored rainbow the human expression.

an era of passive aggression.

Walter Bedell Smith, whispering through the back door,

a stage they still believe.

So cold, so cold,

as the body moved,

gestures of hope and upheld frustration,

the joints they moved as the sun dared to expose itself,

it was still cold like a tomb stone.


-Nicole Matta Santos