The celebrated New York Armory Show in early 1913 introduced Picasso, Matisse, Cubism and Dada to the American scene. Three months later, 1,200 striking textile workers from Paterson, N.J. staged a pageant in Madison Square Garden to dramatize their demands. Green, who is fond of cultural juxtapositions ( Children of the Sun, etc.), links these two events with the lame argument that modern art and revolutionary politics share a spiritual, transcendental goal. He takes us inside the salon of Mabel Dodge, the wealthy art patron and labor pageant organizer, who was ensconced in respectability yet actively subverted it. He also takes us into the Wobblies' union halls where people of any race or nationality were welcome and workers' poems were composed on the spot. The pageant saw hostilities flare up between leaders Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; Green believes the event marked the beginning of the International Workers of the World's slow decline. His atmospheric study limns a brief moment when art and politics came together. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988 Release date: 01/01/1988 Genre: Nonfiction
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