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During the last weeks of his presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order to make federal buildings “beautiful again” by imposing a neoclassical style of architecture. On Wednesday, February 24, President Joe Biden nixed the mandate, among a series of other Trump-era executive orders and memos.
Titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture,” Trump’s executive order mandated that “classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture for Federal public buildings.”
America’s landmark buildings should “inspire the human spirit, ennoble the United States, command respect from the general public,” the order added. It went on to attack contemporary architectural designs that had been approved by the General Services Administration (GSA) as “unappealing,” “lack[ing] dignity,” and straight-up “ugly.”
“The resulting Federal architecture sometimes impresses the architectural elite, but not the American people who the buildings are meant to serve,” Trump’s order argued. An earlier draft of the order came close to banning 20th-century Brutalist and Deconstructivist architecture entirely, but a softer language was used in the final version, allowing different styles of architecture “where appropriate.”
Biden’s decision to scrap the order might put him in a conflict with Justin Shubow, the Trump-appointed chairman of the US Commission of Fine Arts. Shubow, who is also president of the National Civic Art Society (NCAS), is believed to be the driving force behind Trump’s executive order.
New works by one of Bangladesh’s most prominent photojournalists, writers, and activists are on view at the Chicago art space through November 27.
Council often uses humor as a political tool to expose systems of power and inequality in a society in which even death carries a high price tag.
An exhibition at the San Francisco Opera House pairs the work of incarcerated artists with Beethoven’s story of unjust imprisonment.
Many works take disruption and repetition as their themes, and many artists resurface in different sections, creating multiple affinities.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In Cooking with Paris, Hilton capitalizes on her portrayal of being a competent woman, while highlighting its anachronism through her absurd performance. Rosler manipulates the camera in the same way.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
A man says Blue Bayou took details of his life without his permission. Several women who appear in the documentary Sabaya say they did not consent to be filmed. How can filmmakers avoid these ethical pitfalls?
Ursula Biemann, Nicolas Bourriaud, and others said they will no longer participate in the event.
There is an official ban against the public mourning of Tiananmen Square victims in Hong Kong and mainland China.