Art and Politics Now

Anthony Downey


Why have so many artists turned to political subject matter in the last decade? Can art not only question but also reinvigorate the social, civic, and political imagination? Art and Politics Now offers a brilliant survey of artists engaged with “the political,” whether in providing commentary, questioning social structures, or actively responding to the world around them.

Eleven thematic chapters address and contextualize a range of highly topical subjects, including globalization, labor, technology, citizenship, war, activism, and information.

Art and Politics Now also highlights the radical changes in the approaches and techniques used by artists to communicate their ideas, from the increase in collaborative, artist-led, and participatory projects to activism and intervention, documentary and archive work. Many high-profile artists are featured, including Chantal Ackerman, Ai Weiwei, Francis Alys, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Subodh Gupta, Teresa Margolles, Walid Raad, Raqs Media Collective, Doris Salcedo, BrunoSerralongue, and Santiago Sierra.


A must-have for any artist whose work is inherently rooted in politics.

— Art Desk Magazine


Anthony Downey


Anthony Downey is director of the Master’s Program in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, and editor of Ibraaz, a research forum for visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa.