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M. Sue Kendall

Term used to describe scenes of typical American life painted in a naturalistic vein from c. 1920 until the early 1940s. It applies to both Regionalism and Social Realism in American painting, but its specific boundaries remain ambiguous. The phrase probably derived from Henry James’s collection of essays and impressions, ...

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

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

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

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

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....