The Hand That Mocked Them and the Heart That Fed: The Art of Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz Returns to New York

The first broadcast of CNN was on June 1, 1980—a little over a year after Brian Lamb and John D. Evans started the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network—and it began with David Walker and his co-anchor (and wife) Lois Hart. It was a pretty slow news day. The lead story was President Jimmy Carter’s trip to Fort Wayne, Ind., for a “brief visit” with civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. They also covered the launch of the CNN network, replaying footage from a press conference given by Ted Turner. He thanked the cable industry, “whose pioneering spirit caused this great step forward in communication.” From then on, America would be inundated by a constant flow of information, all presented by a stern, brow-furrowed newscaster as breaking and important.

It was then, during the rise of the 24-hour news cycle, that the husband-and-wife artist duo Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz—known collectively as Kienholz—created The Ozymandias Parade, which is currently making a rare appearance in New York at the Pace Gallery on West 25th Street. The exhibition was supposed to coincide with the week leading up to the election, but Hurricane Sandy set it back, and it didn’t open until the day after President Obama’s re-election, another event that fed copy to the cable news programs.
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