Luckily, many of these questions were brought to discussion during my group's socratic seminar, although even as a team, we couldn't come up with one consecutive idea of what exactly this reading was trying to say, and we were also unable come up with solutions to some of the ideas the reading presented, such as whether an artist can remain true to himself and his own style when being commissioned by a large art organization such as MoMA. The article put a lot of focus on art in a "governmental" and "political" sense, and proposed many questions as to how far an art organization can go when it comes to involving their art with government issues.
The article describes Abstract Expressionism as a highly influential style during the Cold War, as many felt that is represented the American spirit and challenged the ideals of Russia; abstract expressionism showed a level of freedom and free will that was unapparent in the communist society of which Russia had created and Americans were so afraid of. Because of this "spirit" of Abstract Expressionist art, many large organizations began to commission more and more artists to create paintings in this style, hoping to give them a "step up" in the Cold War. Many artists accepted this challenge, eager for their work to be displayed on such a worldly level, but other artists were not as excited by the prospect of having their art shown as a symbol of American freedom, as many artists felt it took away from the artists original meaning behind the work. Furthermore, many artists began to feel intense pressure as the constant demand for work began to come in from art institutions and government agencies, and many became so overwhelmed by the constant stress that they quit, or sometimes even committed suicide. This showed the dangers this high-pressure situation was inflicting on society.
The general consensus of this article was to explain the importance of Abstract Expressionism to this Cold War period, but also to raise some important questions for thought. My group examined many of these questions, and began to obtain a deeper understanding of the constant feelings of fear in America during this Cold War period, yet how Abstract Expressionism expressed both these feelings of fear as well as freedom all at once. This article questions whether or not Abstract Expressionism would have been as well known as it is today without this critical period in history, but whether or not it would have been, Abstract Expressionism was critical to the American experience, and still represents some of America's most defining characteristics still today.