Art: Democracy on Pedestals

Under paternalistic governments, artists produce the kind of art the government likes. Such art is apt to be expert, professional—at its worst, stereotyped, imitative, monotonous. Under a democracy, artists produce the kind of art they themselves like. Such art is apt to be personal, varied, lacking in precise standards—at its worst, amateurish, purposeless, sometimes egotistically incomprehensible. But at its best, democratic art flowers in endless variety, makes up in flashes of brilliant originality what it lacks in consistent workmanship.

Last week, at Manhattan's Buchholz Gallery, visitors saw one of the best cross-sections...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!