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Claudio  

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Born in Seville.

Painter. Genre scenes.

Claudio was a representative in the 1960s of the popular vein of painting influenced by Social Realism, led by the Seville-born artist Cortijo. Starting from an everyday realism, he paid more and more attention to portraying the critically intimist side of his subjects and, as he said, to representing: 'Middle-class man, integrated into the poor taste of a consumer society'....

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 27 July 1926, in London; died 16 December 2004.

Painter, draughtsman. Landscapes, domestic life.

Social Realism, New Realism.

Peter Coker studied in London at St Martin’s School of Art (1941-1943) before enlisting in the Fleet Air Arm (...

Article

South African, 20th century, male.

Also active in Sweden and the United States.

Born 21 March 1940, in Eersterust, Pretoria; died 18 February 1990, in New York.

Photojournalist, documentary photographer. Figures, city life, apartheid history.

Ernest Cole’s earliest photographs appeared in Zonk magazine. In 1958...

Article

Cortijo  

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Active in Seville.

Painter.

Cortijo was the principal representative of Social Realism in Spain.

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1910, in Philadelphia; died 1981, in New York.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist. Figures, nudes, genre scenes.

Social Realism.

At the age of seventeen, Joseph Hirsch won a scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art and later went on to study privately under Henry Hensche in Provincetown and George Luks in New York. In the 1930s he undertook several commissions for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Philadelphia, notably for the city's Municipal Court. During World War II he was employed in the war effort and sent to Pensacola Naval Air Station to document naval aviation training. He followed the Navy to the South Pacific where he recorded the efforts of the medical corps before being posted to the Italian front and North Africa with the Army. After the war he taught at the Chicago Art Institute, the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York. He won many awards, including a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (...

Article

South African, 21st century, male.

Born 29 October 1976, in Johannesburg.

Photojournalist, documentary photographer. Portraiture, landscape, social groups.

Pieter Hugo worked in the film industry until 1999, when he started freelancing as an editorial photographer. After publishing in Colors, an influential photo magazine, Hugo in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in St Louis; died 1963, in Morristown (New Jersey).

Painter, watercolourist, printmaker. Landscapes, still-lifes.

Social Realism.

Joe Jones's worked as a house painter from the age of 14 and received no formal artistic training. He joined the Communist party in the 1930s and left St Louis where his Social Realist paintings of Midwestern farm labourers and industrial workers were at odds with the conservative status quo. Jones settled in New York where he worked for the Public Works of Art Project. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1912, in Baltimore; died 1994, in Provincetown.

Painter.

Social Realism.

Mervin Jules studied at Baltimore City College, the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts and under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League in New York. He taught at Smith College ...

Article

Born 7 August 1914, in Cornwall (UK); died 3 August 2000, in Chestertown (Maryland).

Active in South Africa from 1936 to 1949.

Portraitist, photojournalist, documentary photographer. Portraiture, social groups, anthropological studies.

Constance Stuart Larrabee spent her early years in Pretoria before returning to the UK. She enrolled in ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 18 January 1932, in Vrededorp, Johannesburg.

Photojournalist, documentary photographer. Figures, social conflict, traditional customs.

Peter Magubane grew up in Sophiatown, a mixed-race suburb in Johannesburg razed by apartheid authorities in 1955. Employed as a messenger and driver by Drum...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1904; died 1979.

Painter. Figures, local scenes, seascapes.

Woodstock Artists' Colony.

Fletcher Martin was a Californian Social Realist painter who settled in Los Angeles. He visited Woodstock for the first time in 1932, and after working as a war correspondent for ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 August 1896, in New York City; died 17 October 1958, in Laguna Beach, California.

Photographer and graphic designer. Portraits, nudes, figures, still-lifes, landscapes, abstractions.

Paul Outerbridge is best known for his mastery of the tri-colour carbro-transfer printing process used in his commercial and artistic photography. Before enrolling in the Clarence H. White School of Photography in ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 8 October 1911, in Riga, Russian Empire (now Latvia); died 19 April 1940, in Riga.

Painter, draughtsman, graphic artist. Genre painting, portraiture, literary and social satirical subjects.

Kārlis Padegs was a rarity among Latvian artists of the interbellum period: Primarily a flâneur in contemporaries’ minds, Padegs created some of his nation’s most lacerating imagery, delivering both caustic social critique and urbane humour at a time when the art of his peers grew ever more innocuous and scenic. His childhood was initially spent in wartime exile in Dorpat (now Tartu), Estonia, then as a student at Riga City’s First Elementary School, where he took drawing classes from Ernests Veilands and, working for the applied arts section of the Latvian Youth Red Cross, was first observed to possess precocious interpretive views on classic paintings created by Janis Rozentāls. Considerably older than other students with whom he matriculated, Padegs sidestepped high school, qualifying instead for admission to the Latvian Art Academy in ...

Article

Born 1912, in Hill’s Kraal, Korsten, Port Elizabeth; died 2001, in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.

Painter in watercolour and oil, draughtsman.

Apartheid prevented recognition of George Pemba’s achievements as a painter of rural, urban, and domestic South African life until he was over 70, despite his long record of exhibiting in the Eastern Cape. Awarded an MA by the University of Fort Hare, Alice, for his contribution to art in ...

Article

Canadian First Nations (Inuit), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1969, in Cape Dorset (Nunavut).

Graphic artist (felt pen, crayon, pencil), printmaker (lithography, stone cut). Contemporary Inuit domestic scenes, social realism.

Active in Cape Dorset from the 1990s, Pootoogook moved to Ottawa after becoming the first indigenous artist to win the prestigious Sobey Art Award in ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1912 in the USA.

Born 1889 or 1899, in Tombov; died 1987.

Painter, draughtsman. Scenes with figures, interiors, figures, nudes, portraits, urban landscapes, landscapes with figures.

Social Realist group.

In 1912, Raphael Soyer emigrated to the USA with his family, including his brother Moses, and settled in New York. The youngest brother, Isaac, joined them in 1914. He worked first in a factory, and then as a newspaper vendor. He took evening classes at the Cooper Union, later studying for four years at the National Academy of Design. After Ben Shahn, the three Soyer brothers were among the first members of the ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 19 July 1904, in New York; died 27 November 2001, in Escondido (California).

Printmaker. Urban scenes.

Social Realism.

At the age of 12, Sternberg began taking classes at the art school of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and in 1927...

Article

Native American (Diné/Navajo), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1966, in Ganado (Arizona).

Printmaker, sculptor, painter.

Political and social realism, abstraction, post-colonial themes.

Melanie Yazzie uses a variety of media including photography, sculpture, print, and paint to create personal, autobiographical and socio-political works. Using her Diné heritage as a source of inspiration, her practice draws attention to many key issues facing indigenous peoples. Themes have included issues of racism, misogyny, identity problems, poverty and abuse. Later works have concentrated more on personal issues and storytelling and touch on traditional, contemporary and imagined themes, including depictions of ceremonial life and ritual. Yazzie often collaborates with artists from other indigenous nations in order to raise further awareness and create shared experience through art practice....