The NO!art movement began in the 1960s in New York City, when a group of artists began to challenge the status quo of the art world. These artists, led by Boris Lurie, Sam Goodman, and Stanley Fisher, rejected the commercialization and commodification of art, which they believed had been created to serve the wealthy few. Instead, they embraced a philosophy of “anti-art” and sought to create works that were expressive, political, and socially conscious.
The NO!art movement was heavily influenced by Dada, a European avant-garde movement of the early 20th century. Like Dada, NO!art sought to challenge traditional notions of art and to subvert the art establishment. The artists embraced a “do it yourself” approach to art-making, creating works with whatever materials they had on hand. They also often incorporated found objects and everyday items into their works, as a way of critiquing consumer culture.
The NO!artists sought to create works that were provocative, often creating art that addressed issues such as racism, war, and poverty. One of the most iconic works of the movement was Lurie’s “NO!art Flag”, a piece that was created in response to the Vietnam War. The flag featured a red “NO!” written in bold letters, and a black background to represent the loss of life. The flag served as a powerful symbol of protest and resistance.
The NO!art movement had a significant impact on the art world, inspiring artists to create works that challenged the status quo and encouraged people to think critically about the world around them. Its influence can be seen in the works of artists such as Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and Robert Rauschenberg, who were all influenced by the movement’s subversive approach to art-making.
Today, the legacy of NO!art lives on in the works of contemporary artists. Its influence can be seen in the works of Banksy, who often uses graffiti and stencils to create works that comment on political and social issues. The influence of NO!art can also be seen in the work of Ai Weiwei, an artist who often uses found objects and everyday items to create works that are politically and socially charged.
The NO!art movement was a groundbreaking and revolutionary force in the art world, inspiring artists to create works that challenged the status quo and pushed the boundaries of art. By rejecting the commercialization of art and embracing a “do it yourself” approach, the NO!artists created works that were expressive, political, and socially conscious. Their influence can still be seen today in the works of many contemporary artists, who continue to be inspired by their subversive and revolutionary approach to art-making.