REPORTER OPENS POLITICAL ART GALLERYDec. 12, 2011
Veteran PBS and Washington Post politics correspondent Charles Krause’s passions extend well beyond foreign policy. This weekend he launched an art gallery in Washington, D.C. The new Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art is devoted strictly to art with political subject matter, and he plans to “show the work of artists who have sought to influence, or who have been influenced by, the great social and political upheavals of the 20th and 21st centuries,” according to his website.
The gallery’s first exhibition, “Solidarnosc,” Dec. 9, 2011-Jan. 22, 2012, features graphics, drawings and collages by Jerzy Janiszewski, the man who devised the famous 1980 Polish Solidarity logo, which is among the works on view at the gallery. Visits are by appointment only.
Krause, whose parents collected Alberto Giacometti and Louise Nevelson and gave the journalist an Alexander Calder lithograph for his graduation present, began covering international affairs in the late 1970s. He took note all the while of how local artists reflected their social conditions. His first purchase of an explicitly political work was an 18th-century portrait of the last Inca, which he saw as the Peruvian artist’s protest against Spanish colonization. He later discovered and reported on the Havana lithography studio of Roberto Favelo, whose work dealt with artistic freedom, and he sought out Soviet propaganda posters and work by local “non-conformist artists” while working as an advisor to Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Today, Krause owns a collection of about 100 paintings and drawings that deal with social and political unrest. As he writes on his website, “Isn’t the power of an artist’s work to inspire revolution, confront limits on free expression or challenge social attitudes, also worthy of serious consideration?”