Holly Hughes was the first of the NEA Four artists to complete her week-long residency at the New Museum this month, and the first of the artists I had a chance to interview as part of this series looking at those four today. She had an eventful week, with events taking place not only at the museum but also around the city.
The NEA Four, now in residence at the New Museum, were denied National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants in 1990, after Congress passed a “decency clause.” How has arts funding changed in the past 20 years? Its current state would certainly “disabuse just about anyone of the idea that pursuing an artistic career in 21st-century America is a romantic enterprise.”
Has she no decency? At long last, has she no decency? The transgressive, titillating performance artist Karen Finley was denied a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 because the language and content in her work was deemed “indecent.” Along with three other artists she became part of the infamous Supreme Court case The National Endowment for the Arts v. Karen Finley, which culminated in the discontinuation of individual artist grants. In her interview with Hyperallergic, Finley reflects on the past of New York City, the state of women in the arts, Lady Gaga and more.