From Gallery to Political Arts Think Tank

The results of the 2016 Presidential election, the doctrine of state capture, the all-too-obvious political corruption in Washington and the transformation of our political system from a democracy to a plutocracy catalyzed Mr. Krause’s commitment to transform his gallery into the Center for Contemporary Political Art (CCPA), America’s first political arts think tank.

CHARLES KRAUSE / REPORTING FINE ART (CK/RFA) — Mr. Krause’s gallery — founded in 2011 and located in Washington DC, within walking distance of the White House, presented over 20 solo and group exhibitions of what Mr. Krause calls The Art of Social and Political Change. These exhibitions have shown work by more than 60 artists from 15 countries working in almost every medium and style, spanning the years 1950 to 2017. The Gallery’s name was chosen to reflect its Founding Director’s life-long interest in fine art and his career as an award-winning foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, CBS News, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and PBS (1983-2000) 

Having seen the power of fine art to influence social and political change while on assignment in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Mr. Krause opened his Gallery hoping to persuade art historians, museum curators, critics and private collectors that the motivation underlying an artist’s work, and its impact influencing positive social and political attitudes and change, should be recognized as an important consideration when evaluating an artist’s work in the 21st Century.

Since 2011, the Gallery has presented art that has sought to influence public attitudes about, or increase public awareness of, issues ranging from gun control to genocide, immigration reform, political corruption, income inequality, the human and financial cost of U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, Citizens United and political paralysis in the United States to artistic freedom in Putin’s Russia, the plight of Uighur people in China, the gathering of military intelligence and its impact on civil liberties and, most recently, the 2016 election and dangers the Trump presidency portends for artistic freedom and civil liberty in the years ahead.

The Gallery’s very first exhibit, titled The Graphic and Fine Art of Poland’s Jerzy Janiszewski: The Artist Whose Graphic Design Changed History (December, 2011-January, 2012) sought to define The Art of Social and Political Change by presenting the work of an artist, virtually unknown in the United States, whose logo for Lech Walesa’s Solidarity trade union movement in Poland, created in 1980, was critically important to keeping alive the spirit of democratic revolution in Poland for nearly a decade. In 1989-90, it became the recognized symbol of the “velvet revolutions” that overturned Soviet control of Eastern Europe, leading to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Soviet Union itself, in late 1991.


His reporting was recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy Award for his reporting from Israel and the Middle East (1997); the Latin American Studies Association Media Award for his Central America coverage (1987); and the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for his reporting from Jonestown, where he was shot and wounded while on assignment for The Washington Post (1978).  His book, “Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Account,” was a best-seller and adapted for television by CBS. Broadcast in 1980, “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones” remains the 10th most watched miniseries ever broadcast in the United States.

Mr. Krause’s interest in fine art began as a teenager, when his parents began collecting work of Ferdinand Leger, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson and other important 20th Century artists.

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