Collection

Kissinger is the false prophet
Michael Stevenson

1995

Michael Stevenson
b.
1964
Title:
Kissinger is the false prophet
Production date:
1995
Accession No:
97/16
Measurements:
580 x 870 mm
Media:
Mixed media on paper

Collection Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth

There are a number of artists around the world who have critiqued the 1960s North American art movement of minimalism. This abstract and often monumental art was supposedly free of interpretation and meaning. More recently though, critics have read into its monumental qualities, hard blank surfaces and abillity to dominate space a kind of masculinist agenda.

Michael Stevenson is also working in this territory, but he plays instead on the political underpinnings of the Minimalist position. His exquisitely crafted black and white drawings in pastel and other media reinvent familiar Minimalist works as sites for both 'legitimate' and subversive political activity.

'Kissinger is the false prophet' recasts the words of the title in the form of a neon wall sculpture - a form that found favour with a number of artists in the 1960s. The illumination of the surrounding wall by the neon light is an ironic comment on the 'false' illumination (in reality, manipulation and concealment) of world events by political figures like Kissinger. This work also calls into question the supposed political neutrality of the art world and the art museum.