Art and Authenticity in the Age of Fake News

Given the centrality of truth and falsehood in our current era, the American University online exhibit, Art and Authenticity in the Age of Fake News, couldn’t be better timed. The exhibit, curated by the AU art professor Nika Elder and produced by graduate students, features a range of thought-provoking works, including an impressively high percentage with artistic roots in D.C., including Annie Adjchavanich’s 1991 photograph of a Marilyn Monroe drag persona, Cynthia Connolly’s grid of photographs of convenience store ice machines, a combine by Joseph Mills, a trompe l’oeil by Renee Stout, and Eglon Daley’s 1993 painting of Chinese New Year crowds in Gallery Place, a bracing mixture of works. That said, the linkage between the exhibit’s artworks and the “fake news” theme is often attenuated. Among the stronger connections involve a print from Lee Krasner’s lithographic series, which has a methodical touch that contrasts with the spontaneous art of her husband, Jackson Pollock; the eccentric portrait of Frederick Douglass that Ben Shahn abstracted from a photograph; and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s bucolic paintings of his home of Ville d’Avray, France, which ignored the locality’s urbanization. If you want more from extensively annotated works, sign up to watch a gallery talk by Elder on Oct. 26 at 4:15 p.m. The works are available at websitefakenewsexh.wixsite.com. Free.