22 Artists, Critics, and Curators on What Makes Protest Art Successful

By
Cauleen Smith, In the Wake, 2017, on view at the Whitney Biennial. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago and Kate Werble Gallery, New York

Earlier this spring, astounded by the art world’s outpouring of political energy in the wake of the election and inauguration, we asked dozens of artists and curators and critics to tell us what works of protest art they’d found most powerful in the current climate — and what works from the past they felt inspiring in new ways. Some of the choices were unexpected: Rashid Johnson cited Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue (“That for me nailed it”); Lizzi Bougatsos picked a #NoDAPL banner suspended from the rafters at a Vikings game; Daniel J. Martinez pointed to the cellphone game Trump Dump. Their choices are in the gallery ahead.

*A version of this article appears in the April 17, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

Artists, Critics, and Curators on What Makes Protest Art