Carnegie Mellon University
February 09, 2018

Marx@200 Art Exhibition To Run April 6 – June 3

Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and CMU’s Humanities Center, Art Will Respond to Marx’s Ideas, Influence and Impact

By Shilo Rea

Karl Marx is one of the most influential and controversial thinkers in history. To explore Marx’s continued influence at the time of his bicentennial, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Carnegie Mellon University’s Humanities Center will present Marx@200 from April 6 through June 3 at SPACE gallery in downtown Pittsburgh.

Curated by CMU’s Kathy M. Newman and Susanne Slavick, Marx@200 will feature more than 25 works by artists from around the world. The artworks represent a diverse range of perspectives on Marx and his critique of inequality and capitalism, as well as his influence on political movements and regimes.

“As artists respond to both historical and current conditions, Marx’s legacy has shaped how and what they create,” said Newman, associate professor of English, who has also organized a series of lectures that examine Marx. “He is also becoming a popular culture icon in the digital age, with his image being used in countless memes and on products. We want to give people a chance to examine these phenomena and to reflect on the themes these artists have appropriated for their own work, from the rising tide of globalization to wealth inequality, to job loss and automation.”

Highlights from the exhibition include:

  • Ukranian-born Nataliya Slinko’s gigantic version of Marx’s beard made of steel wool
  • An animated Marx wielding a hammer in battle with Charles Darwin by Michael Mallis
  • Kiluanji Kia Henda’s photographic triptych of a fishing vessel named “Karl Marx, Luanda”
  • Kathryn Clark’s “Foreclosure Quilt,” a stitched urban map of foreclosed homes, block by block
  • A tiny embroidered barcode by Rayna Fahey that says, “Don’t just buy it/Make Revolution”

“Artists working within a variety of economic and political systems have contributed to this show, responding to Marx’s complicated legacy with appreciation or apprehension—and sometimes both. They invite us to consider his critique of capitalism and what it feels like to live in today’s globalized economy,” said Slavick, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art. 

SPACE is located at 812 Liberty Ave. Gallery hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sundays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

In addition to regular gallery hours, there will be an opening reception on Friday, April 6 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition will be open during the Cultural District Gallery Crawl on Friday, April 27 from 5:30-10 p.m., and a Marx bicentennial program and reception will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 7-9 p.m. 

Artists With Links to the Exhibition

For more information, visit