Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Morgan Falconer

Second Advisor

Aliza Shvarts


This paper aims to outline a series of thoughts around the topic of fascist aesthetics. In 1981, Benjamin Buchloh argued that the revival of representational forms after abstraction signaled a political regression toward authoritarianism. It is the hope of this analysis to expand on Buchloh’s argument in light of the recent claims of fascist revival, particularly in the United States. Looking at aesthetic examples of definitive fascism from the early 20th century as well as the aesthetic culture from the latter part of the 20th century around the time Buchloh was writing, this project can function as a lens through which to view the current cultural and political landscape of 2021. Utilizing the abstract foundation of psychological structure as outlined by Georges Bataille in 1979, this paper aims to inspire an expanded meditation on the topic of political aestheticization.