41-60 of 72 Results  for:

  • Social Realism x
Clear all


Anis Farooqi

(b Karachi [now in Pakistan], Feb 19, 1946).

Indian painter and printmaker. She studied painting at the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, in 1964–9; she also worked in a studio at the Bhulabhai Memorial Institute, Bombay, between 1964 and 1967 with other painters, including performing artists. On a French Government scholarship she studied in Paris in 1970–72 (producing e.g. Painting No. 16, oil on canvas, 1.16×1.16 m, New Delhi, N.G. Mod. A.) and participated in international exhibitions and international festivals of arts in Tokyo, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Oxford and several cities in Germany. Her work can be categorized as the portrayal of Social Realism: interpreting the life of Indian middle-class families, their surroundings and activities with an illustrative configuration and expressionistic overtones imbued with naivety.

J. Berger: Art and Revolution (New York, 1969) G. Kapur: Nalini Malani (New Delhi, 1982) Nalini Malani (exh. cat. by A. Sinha, Bombay, Pundole Gal., 1984) Voiceovers: 5th Guinness Contemporary Art Project (exh. cat. by ...


R. Ya. Abolina


(b St Petersburg, March 17, 1891; d Moscow, Dec 20, 1966).

Russian sculptor. He studied at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1911–16) under the Russian sculptor Vladimir A. Beklemishev (1861–1920) and G. R. Zaleman (1859–1919). Between 1918 and 1920, while participating in the ‘Monumental Propaganda Plan’, he produced the cement relief The Worker (1920–21; Moscow, Petrovsky Arcade). Essentially a social realist, in his style he sought to soften his cold, academic manner with elements of genre and literary narrative and with slight Art Nouveau tendencies of naturalism. In the early 1920s he worked on portrait figures of Lenin, and he produced many monuments of him, which were erected in various towns in the USSR. The most notable is that at Lenin’s birthplace of Ulyanov (now Simbirsk), on the high bank of the Volga (bronze and granite, 1940). The scrupulous style of his modelling became more generalized here, accentuated by the dynamic turn of the figure in space. He sculpted a series of monuments to the poet ...


M. Sue Kendall

(b Paris, March 14, 1898; d Dorset, VT, July 30, 1954).

American painter, printmaker and illustrator. He returned from France to the USA with his American parents, Fred Dana Marsh (1872–1961) and Alice (née Randall) Marsh (1869–1929), who were also artists, in 1900. In 1920 he graduated from Yale University, New Haven, CT, where he had been art editor and cartoonist for the Yale Record. He moved to New York and became staff artist for Vanity Fair and the New York Daily News. By 1923 he had begun painting scenes of street life in New York in oil and watercolour. His first one-man show was held at the Whitney Studio Club in 1924. In 1925 he joined the New Yorker, to which he contributed regularly until 1931.

In 1925 Marsh travelled with his first wife, sculptor Betty Burroughs, to Europe where he studied and copied the works of the Old Master painters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo, whom he particularly admired for their ability to organize large figure groups. In ...


Ingrid Swenson

British investigative organization founded in 1937 to examine aspects of popular culture. Although Mass Observation was neither an art movement nor a particular school or style, it did attract artists, photographers and film makers who were involved in realist, Surrealist and social documentary practices. Anthropologist Tom Harrisson (1911–76), poet and journalist Charles Madge (b 1912) and painter, poet and documentary film maker Humphrey Jennings (1907–50) announced its formation by calling for volunteers to observe and gather data on subjects ranging from anti-Semitism to the aspidistra cult.

The methodology of Mass Observation was threefold: inviting the ‘masses’ to send in diary-form reports of their everyday lives; gathering scientifically observed data from full- and part-time volunteers; and involving poets, writers and artists by demanding their creative responses to ‘ordinary life’. By 1938 Mass Observation boasted over 1500 observers. Madge and Jennings in particular were involved in British ...


Ingrid Swenson

(b Tenerife, Canary Islands, Oct 17, 1910; d Nov 6, 1990).

English painter. He lived in the USA and Rome before studying at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1928–31). Early acclaim in the 1930s resulted from his part in the formation of the Objective Abstraction group. With the development of Social Realism in the late 1930s, Moynihan abandoned abstraction as increasingly isolating and from 1937 became closely associated with the Euston Road School.

As Official War Artist (1943), ARA (1944) and Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (1948–57), Moynihan received important portrait commissions, but his large group portrait, The Teaching Staff of the Painting School at the Royal College of Art, 1949–50 (2.13×3.35 m; London, Tate), is particularly remarkable for its centralized composition and treatment of the figures, who each assume an individual pose; in the far left in the background is a self-portrait. In the mid-1950s Moynihan again painted abstract pictures such as ...


Sepp Kern

(b Berlin, Sept 27, 1894; d Berlin, July 12, 1967).

German painter, printmaker and writer. He showed talent as a draughtsman at an early age. After showing Bruno Paul some drawings in 1908, he was promised a free place in the education department of the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, following his training as a craftsman. He studied briefly in a stained-glass workshop (1908–10) but abandoned this to work as a studio assistant (1910–21). From 1913 to 1914 he also attended evening classes in drawing. As a pacifist he refused military service and was temporarily imprisoned. In 1919 his application to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Charlottenburg, Berlin, was rejected.

At the home of the architect and art critic Adolf Behne (1855–1948) Nagel saw for the first time paintings by August Macke, whose bold use of colour made a lasting impression on his work, for example Self-portrait with Hat (oil on cardboard, 1920; Berlin, priv. col., see ...


Ursula Zeller

[Ger.: ‘new objectivity’]

Term applied to the representative art that was developed in Germany in the 1920s by artists including Max Beckmann (see fig.), Otto Dix and George Grosz. The term Magic Realism is associated but not directly related to it. The use of ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ may derive from the Dutch word zakelijkheid, which was used from c. 1900 to describe the work of such Dutch architects as H. P. Berlage; this was followed by nieuwe zakelijkheid used from 1923 to indicate the reaction against Expressionism in architecture. The political events in Europe and the general mood to which they gave rise influenced painting, design and photography (e.g. the work of Albert Renger-Patzsch), as well as architecture. Despite the wide significance of objectivity at this time, the term applies primarily to a movement in German painting, and it is this with which this article is primarily concerned.

Neue Sachlichkeit was ‘new’ in so far as it was in contradistinction to 19th-century Naturalism and the work of the Nazarenes, and it was frequently characterized by a satirical social realism. The general mood in Germany in the 1920s was conditioned by the experience of World War I. The war fever that artists had depicted, mainly in an Expressionist style, subsided after the first months in the battlefields: the cruelty and senselessness of war was to become a recurrent theme in the work of Neue Sachlichkeit artists. Moreover, the sobering effect of both the war and the failure of the revolutionary events in Germany in ...


W. Iain Mackay

(b Arequipa, 1912; d 1988).

Peruvian painter, teacher, printmaker, and writer. He studied until 1935 at the Universidad Nacional de S. Agustín, Arequipa, where he continued to teach history of art and aesthetics until 1950, although he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in the USA between 1943 and 1945; as an artist he was self-taught. He later settled in Lima, where he executed a number of large murals (e.g. Construction of Peru, 6 × 16 m, 1954; Lima, Min. Econ. & Finanzas). In these and in watercolor paintings he combined social realism with a degree of caricature reminiscent of the work of Pancho Fierro. In 1954 Núñez Ureta was awarded the Premio Nacional de Pintura, and from 1973 to 1976 he was Director of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima. His written works include a number of books on Peruvian art.

La vida de la gente. Lima, 1982.Gente de mi tierra...


Francis V. O’Connor

revised by Mark A. Castro

(b Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Sept 23, 1883; d Mexico City, Sept 7, 1949).

Mexican painter, muralist, draftsman, printmaker, illustrator, and caricaturist. Orozco, together with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, was an outstanding member of the Mexican mural movement that dominated the field of the visual arts in post-revolutionary Mexico until the 1950s. Orozco and his particular approach to expressionism in color and form would be influential among younger generations of muralists and painters in Mexico and abroad.

Orozco was born into a middle-class family in the city of Zapotlán El Grande, today known as Ciudad Guzmán, but the family relocated Guadalajara in 1885. Five years later the family moved to Mexico City. In 1898 he began studying agronomic engineering at the Escuela de Agricultura de San Jacinto, eventually earning the title of agronomist two years later. In 1901 he began taking evening classes in architecture at the Academia de San Carlos. Three years later, Orozco lost his left hand and suffered some visual and auditory impairment from an explosion that occurred while he was handling gunpowder from fireworks....


Stephen Bann

(b Chelsham, Surrey, Dec 3, 1908; d Gudja, Malta, Jan 23, 1998).

English painter and printmaker. He developed an interest in painting as a schoolboy at Harrow, but the early death of his father prevented him from carrying on his studies at this stage. From 1927 to 1937 he worked as a clerk at the Head Office of the London County Council, painting in his spare time and paying frequent visits to the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery; he became a member of the London Artists’ Association in 1932 and of the London Group in 1934. His early paintings, such as The Window (1933; London, Dept Environment), were reminiscent of Matisse and the Fauvists in their free handling and their subject-matter of still-life and views through open windows, though he also took part in the Objective Abstractions exhibition (1934; London, Zwemmer Gal.), at which Geoffrey Tibble (1909–52), Rodrigo Moynihan, Graham Bell and others displayed fully abstract work. Pasmore himself made a number of abstract pictures shortly after this exhibition but later decided to destroy them....


Roger J. Crum

(b Pittsburgh, PA, May 24, 1924).

American painter and printmaker. While at high school, Pearlstein produced Social Realist paintings set in Pittsburgh. After his service as an educational poster designer in World War II, he graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BFA, 1949), where he had been a fellow student of Andy Warhol. Pearlstein then moved to New York, where in 1955 he received an MA in art history from New York University. From the late 1950s he taught, first at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (1959–63), and then from 1963 at Brooklyn College, New York. During the 1950s, while he adhered to realistic and proto-Pop subjects, his charged brushwork in paintings such as Superman (1952; New York, Dorothy Pearlstein priv. col.) demonstrated experimentation with Abstract Expressionism. However, he felt inhibited working within the established avant-garde, and he was opposed to formal and emotional distortion of the figure. From 1959 he painted, almost exclusively, nude studio models in an analytical, realistic manner. He felt that he had ‘rescued the human figure from its tormented, agonized condition given it by the expressionistic artists’ as well as from pornographers. Pearlstein saw his model as ‘a constellation of still-life forms’ and was capable of brutal honesty in painting a protruding abdomen or an unattractive face. His cropping of models’ extremities occurred partly because he began with an anatomical module, often a foot, and developed the rest of the figure irrespective of the edges of the canvas. His interests were formal, and he believed that by not depicting the head, the artist remained detached from the personality of the model. While his abstract compositional schemes continually reinforced the two-dimensionality of the painting, Pearlstein’s figures are sculpturally rendered and strongly projected in depth. An avid apologist for the new realism, Pearlstein argued that his type of realism was distinct from that of Pop art or Photorealism, movements with which his work is often associated (...


Melanía Monteverde-Pensó

revised by Jennifer Sales

(b Caracas, Jul 20, 1918; d Caracas, May 26, 1989).

Venezuelan painter. He studied painting at the Academia de Bellas Artes, Caracas, from 1930 to 1938. In 1938 he went to Mexico City on a scholarship to study at the Academia San Carlos. After returning to Venezuela in 1941 he painted The Three Commissaires (1942; Caracas, Gal. A. N.), a work of social realism that won him the John Boulton Prize in the Fourth National Salon of Venezuelan Art in 1943. In 1949 he adapted his exacting realism for a surrealist period, and in the following year he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in Europe. Poleo returned to Caracas in 1950 and, while retaining the realism of his portraiture, he began to simplify the backgrounds of his works and introduce abstract elements (e.g. Maternity, 1952–1953; priv. col., see exh. cat., 53). Influenced by the Social Realism of Diego Rivera, these concerns were also evident in his mural for the campus of the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas (...


Roberto Pontual

(b Brodósqui, Brazil, Dec 30, 1903; d Rio de Janeiro, Feb 6, 1962).

Brazilian painter. The son of Italian immigrants, he recognized his vocation as a painter from an early age and in 1918 moved to Rio de Janeiro to enroll in the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes. From 1928 to 1931 he lived in Europe, mainly in Paris, on a foreign travel award from the Salão Nacional de Belas Artes (Rio de Janeiro). Canvases painted on his return to Rio de Janeiro, such as Coffee (1935; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.), which won a prize at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1935, revealed the influence of the Mexican muralists. In 1936 Portinari began to work on a series of commissioned murals on historical and social themes, central works of Brazilian modernism, notably for the Ministério da Educação e Saúde in Rio de Janeiro (1936–44), the Brazilian pavilion (1939) at the New York World Fair, the Library of Congress (...


Ingrid Severin

(b Cologne, Nov 11, 1892; d Cologne, March 8, 1970).

German painter. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Cologne, and at the Kunstakademie (1910–14), Düsseldorf. From 1915 to 1917 he fought in World War I. Räderscheidt then studied to be an art teacher (1917–19), serving his probationary period at the Realgymnasium at Mülheim, Cologne. He married the artist Marta Hegemann (1894–1970) in 1918. After qualifying he began working as a freelance artist and became associated with Cologne Dada. However, with Wilhelm Fick (1893–1967), Franz Seiwert (1894–1933) and Heinrich Hoerle (1895–1935) he founded the Stupid group in 1920. With the painters Angelika Hoerle (1899–1923), Fick’s sister and Heinrich Hoerle’s wife, and Peter Abelen (1884–1962) he contributed to Live (Cologne, 1919), a volume of woodcuts of murdered socialists (e.g. Rosa Luxemburg, 1919; priv. col., see Herzog, no. 4). He changed the style of his work from Dada to Phantastischer Realismus between ...


Annie Dell’Aria

Movement in American art that focused on local, representational subject-matter. Regionalism was the dominant style in American art during the 1930s and into the 1940s, often depicting scenes of the rural Midwest, American folklore, or the hard times during the Great Depression. Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood—all Midwesterners—are artists most commonly associated with Regionalism. In some formulations, however, the work of Stuart Davis and Edward Hopper could also be considered ‘Regionalist’, as they painted during the same period and drew on local sources for subject-matter, though in their case the focus was on city life. In this light, Regionalism can be viewed as an artist’s desire to connect with his or her surroundings rather than to universal themes (as was often the case with abstraction).

The main artistic drive in the 1930s was a desire to find authentic American subject-matter, rural or urban. In the developing mythology of ‘American-ness’, most often rural scenes won out. This focus on American mythology was not necessarily without dissenting politics, however, as in Benton’s Social History of the State of Missouri (...


(María Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la)

(b Guanajuato, Dec 13, 1886; d Mexico City, Nov 24, 1957).

Mexican painter and draughtsman. He was one of the most important figures in the Mexican mural movement and won international acclaim for his vast public wall paintings, in which he created a new iconography based on socialist ideas and exalted the indigenous and popular heritage in Mexican culture. He also executed large quantities of easel paintings and graphic work.

Rivera’s artistic precocity was recognized by his parents, both of whom were teachers. He was drawing at two, taking art courses at nine and enrolled at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City at eleven. There the quality of his work, especially his landscape painting, earned him a scholarship at fifteen and a government pension at eighteen. At nineteen he was awarded a travel grant to Europe, and in 1907 he went to Spain, settling in Paris two years later. In November 1910 he returned to Mexico for an exhibition of his work at the Academia, which was part of the Mexican Centennial of Independence celebrations. The Mexican Revolution began the day the exhibition opened, and Rivera returned to Paris early in ...


W. Iain Mackay

(b Lima, Apr 1926; d Feb 6, 2002).

Peruvian painter, active in France. He failed to complete his studies at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima and went to Europe, where in 1951 he attended the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica, Madrid. He returned frequently to Peru to exhibit his work, notably representing his country at the São Paulo Biennale of 1961. He settled permanently in Paris in 1965. His work is most notable for its social realism, often expressed through geometric forms and containing elements of Expressionism (e.g. Plough, 1955; priv. col.; see de Lavalle and Lang 1975, 156). He also executed brightly colored still lifes and went on to concentrate increasingly on portraiture, while retaining his interest in social themes.

Lavalle, J. A. de and Lang, W. Pintura contemporánea, II: 1920–1960, Col. A. & Tesoros Perú. Lima, 1975, p. 156.Seymur. “El retorno de Alfredo Ruiz Rosas.” El Comercio (Mar 16, 1980): 22–23.Bernuy, J....


Astrid Schmetterling

(b Miesbach, Upper Bavaria, Aug 21, 1894; d Keilberg, nr Aschaffenburg, Feb 25, 1982).

German painter, collagist, printmaker and photographer. He studied briefly at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich (1913–14) and in 1913 began to make Expressionist woodcuts, which were published in magazines such as Die Aktion (Berlin), Die Weissen Blätter (Leipzig) and Sirius (Zurich). From 1915 to 1920 he lived in Zurich and Geneva, where he was associated with the Dada movement. He continued creating woodcuts but also made reliefs, paintings and collages from newspaper cuttings and other printed papers. At the same time he became interested in abstracting photography and using it in a more metaphoric way. In 1918, while living in Geneva, he created his first ‘schadographs’, such as Untitled (Fish; 1918; New York, MOMA), contact prints of collages and objects on photosensitive paper. Like Man Ray’s rayographs and Moholy-Nagy’s photograms, these cameraless photographs reproduced the negative image of the textures placed on them, creating a new form of representation....


Astrid Schmetterling

(b Calw, Baden-Württemberg, Dec 6, 1890; d Munich, May 3, 1955).

German painter, printmaker and writer. He served an apprenticeship as an enamel painter in Pforzheim and then attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart (1907–10) and the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe (1910–16). Guided by a longing to rebel against bourgeois morality, he made paintings and lithographs inspired by scenes from novels and films on the Wild West and oriental fairy tales, themes from which he continued to derive his subject-matter while also developing an increasingly critical stance towards society. In Karlsruhe in 1919 he co-founded the Gruppe Rih, one of the many artists’ groups formed in Germany after World War I in an attempt to democratize culture, to tear down social barriers and to proclaim freedom for the individual. That year he moved to Berlin, becoming a member of both the Novembergruppe and the Dada movement. Having also joined the Communist Party in 1919, he became increasingly politicized. The watercolour ...


(b Munich, Feb 13, 1889; d Berlin, April 19, 1938).

German painter and graphic artist. He was self-taught; a legacy allowed him to travel widely through Europe and to devote himself to painting. From 1909 he was in Munich where he developed a decorative Expressionist style. His first designs were published in Franz Pfemfert’s politically motivated arts periodical Die Aktion. During World War I Schrimpf was in Berlin, where he was encouraged by Herwarth Walden. He continued to work in an Expressionist style comparable to that of Heinrich Campendonk, providing designs for influential periodicals such as Walden’s Der Sturm, Der Anbruch and Kunstblatt. He married the German painter Maria Uhden (1892–1918) in 1916, and her premature death in childbirth was to have a striking effect on his subsequent artistic work, which was more lyrical and precise, and which most often featured young women, for example Young Girl Seated (1923; Hamburg, priv. col.) and Girl by a Window...