Abmassadorial Commodity

John Powers just retweeted it now in parts, and he included it in his epic Star Wars Modern piece at Triple Canopy last year, but this quote from “American Painting During the Cold War,” Max Kozloff’s 1973 Artforum article, is worth repeating again and again:

It signifies a new sophistication in bureaucratic circles that even dense and technical work of the intelligentsia, as long as it was self-censoring in its professional detachment from values, could be used ambassadorially as a commodity in the struggle for American dominance.

Reprinted in Artforum, Kozloff’s piece was originally the introduction to the catalogue for Twenty-Five Years of American Painting, 1948-1973, James Demetrion’s 1973 exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center.
Demetrion would later become the director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.