As part of the Year in Art Effort, every week Washington Project for The Arts and BYT comes together to give you a tidbit of the (some may say surprisingly?) colorful DC Art History. Be ready to be a cocktail party conversation star:
Artists can take themselves too seriously at times, so it’s refreshing to see some who like to make fun of the “serious art world”. In 2007, museums and galleries in DC were celebrating Washington Color School, a group of abstract painters who formed in the 1960s and made a brief impact by making DC the epicenter of the visual arts world; however, Jeffry Cudlin and Meg Mitchell were tired of hearing about what the generations before them did and decided to make an impact of their own.
So they created a fake husband and wife, performance art duo: Ian and Jan. According to the fake history, Ian and Jan were leaders of the coveted Washington Body School, and they exhibited their body art next to abstract paintings at the DCAC. As Ian and Jan enjoyed their bad art and ridiculing “good art” they also included cultural tidbits of DC to relish on. They picked apart the “cultural legacy on art” that some imply Washington DC has had and played up gender bias and politics in the arts. The show displayed photographs, drawings and videos throughout the exhibit.
The focal point of the exhibit was a video that had gallery heads and multiple collectors and art historians describing the impact that this fake couple had during their rein as leaders of Washington Body School.
Previously on Art History in DC:
- Compliment Machine
- David Hammons white faces Jesse Jackson
- The Largest Sundial
- The Banned Mapplethorpe Show
- The First Punk Art Show
- Wall Snatchers
- Lois Mailou Jones
- The Collector’s Collector
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