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Henry Adams

(b Neosho, MO, April 15, 1889; d Kansas City, MO, Jan 19, 1975).

American painter, illustrator, and lithographer. One of the most controversial personalities in American art, both in his lifetime and today, Thomas Hart Benton was a key figure in the American Regionalist movement of the 1930s, when he focused on working-class American subject-matter and was outspoken in his denunciation of European modern painting. Today he is best remembered for this phase of his life, and much criticized because of it. But Benton’s long career is not easily reduced to a single moment or achievement: his legacy was more complex. As a young struggling artist in Paris and New York, he was a leading American modernist and abstractionist, and in his early maturity he became the teacher and lifelong father figure for Jackson Pollock, the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also a major American writer, who wrote on art and whose autobiography of 1936 became a best-seller. He was also a notable figure in American music who collected American folk songs and devised a new form of harmonica notation that is still in use....

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b nr Dunavant, KS, Nov 14, 1897; d Madison, WI, Aug 29, 1946).

American painter and illustrator. As one of the ‘Regionalist triumvirate’, with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he has been most often characterized as a faithful chronicler of rural life in Kansas. From 1916 to 1918 he was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1919 he began study in the studio of Harvey Dunn (1884–1952) in Tenafly, NJ. After seven years as an illustrator in and around New York, he went to Paris in 1926 to study with the Russian Academician Vasily Shukhayev. Ironically, it was on Curry’s return to the East Coast the following year that he began to earn his reputation as a Regionalist by painting memories of Kansas from his studio in the fashionable art colony of Westport, CT. Baptism in Kansas (1928; New York, Whitney, see American Scene painting) shows a country child being baptized in a cattle trough. Such paintings of early American life appealed to certain East Coast urban viewers seeking to recover a lost past....

Article

Charlotte Moser

(b Utica, NY, Sept 26, 1862; d Florence, Oct 24, 1928).

American painter and illustrator. He first trained as an architectural draughtsman at the Academy of Design, Chicago (1878). After studying briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to New York, where he attended the Gotham School and the Art Students League (1886–8). By 1887 he was working as an illustrator for Century magazine. A realist landscape painter in the 19th-century academic tradition, he was influenced by the painters of the Hudson River school and particularly by the luminist, dream-like landscapes of George Inness.

Around 1900 Davies’s paintings became Symbolist in style, with the introduction of mystical nude figures in the landscape, as in Meeting in the Forest (1900; Montclair, NJ, A. Mus.) and Autumn—Enchanted Salutation (1907; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). Themes combining Classical figures and landscape, which evolved in a mythical classicist style reminiscent of the work of Puvis de Chavannes, typified Davies’s work throughout his career. Increasingly drawn to ancient art and Greco-Roman civilization, he eventually identified the archaic with modernism, for example in ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Cincinnati, OH, Jan 31, 1875; d Sellersville, PA, Sept 4, 1955).

American printmaker and illustrator. Among the pioneer generation of women printmakers in America, she was known for her humorous satires of the American scene. Raised in New Orleans, she moved to San Francisco where she studied art at the Hopkins Institute (c. 1896–7) and joined the Sketch Club (a professional organization that offered exhibition and collaboration opportunities for women).

By 1903 she had settled in Greenwich Village. Three years later she married the painter and etcher Eugene Higgins (1874–1958), and set aside her career. When the marriage ended 11 years later, she became a secretary of the Whitney Studio Club (where she attended evening sketch sessions), shed her married name and traveled abroad. During a trip to Paris in 1926–7, she discovered the medium that suited her artistic temperament: lithography, and studied the technique with Edouard Dûchatel (fl 1880s–1930s) in Paris.

After returning to New York, in ...

Article

Philip Cooper

(b Paris, May 16, 1898; d Châtenay-Malabry, Seine-et-Oise, July 21, 1964).

French painter, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. An illegitimate child, he was given his mother’s surname but was brought up by his grandmother. On the death of both his father and grandmother in 1908 he joined his mother in London, where he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1912. Finding the teaching too traditional, he left to enrol at the Slade School of Fine Art, which had a reputation for being more avant-garde, though he was again disappointed. He then decided to work alone and devoted himself to painting, concentrating on nudes and still-lifes. He also regularly visited the Tate Gallery, where he was particularly impressed by the works of Turner. In 1917 he was called up for the French Army, but because of his poor health he was soon transferred to the auxiliary corps. Suffering from a pulmonary complaint, he lived in the Tyrol from 1920 to 1921 and was finally discharged from the army in ...

Article

Lee M. Edwards

(b Liverpool, Oct 18, 1844; d London, Feb 27, 1927).

English painter and illustrator. He first studied art at the Mechanics Institute in Liverpool and at the nearby Warrington School of Art. In 1863 he won a scholarship that enabled him to study at the South Kensington Art School in London and subsequently at the Royal Academy Schools. By the late 1860s he was earning money as an illustrator for such popular periodicals as the Cornhill Magazine and Once a Week.

Fildes’s illustration Houseless and Hungry, which appeared as a wood-engraving in the first issue of the Graphic (4 Dec 1869), a socially conscious weekly, was the turning-point of his career. The engraving depicts homeless paupers queuing outside the casual ward of a workhouse. When it was shown to Charles Dickens by John Everett Millais, the author commissioned Fildes to illustrate his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The unfinished book was published posthumously in 1870 with a set of 12 illustrations by Fildes....

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 13, 1870; d Westport, CT, May 22, 1938).

American painter and illustrator. He graduated in 1889 from Central High School, Philadelphia, where he had known Albert C. Barnes, who later became a noted collector of modern art. He became a reporter–illustrator for the Philadelphia Record in 1891 and later for the Philadelphia Press. In 1892 he began to attend evening classes in drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, studying under Thomas Anshutz. In the same year he became a friend and follower of Robert Henri, who persuaded him to take up oil painting in 1894. Henri’s other students, some of whom were referred to as the Ashcan school, included George Luks, Everett Shinn and John Sloan, also artist–reporters; together with Henri they formed the nucleus of Eight, the.

Glackens and Henri shared a studio in Philadelphia in 1894 and travelled together in Europe in 1895. On returning to the USA in 1896, Glackens followed Henri’s lead in moving to New York and supported himself by producing illustrations for the ...

Article

Ursula Zeller

[Georg]

(b Berlin, July 26, 1893; d W. Berlin, July 6, 1959).

German painter, draughtsman, and illustrator. He is particularly valued for his caustic caricatures, in which he used the reed pen with notable success. Although his paintings are not quite as significant as his graphic art, a number of them are, nonetheless, major works. He grew up in the provincial town of Stolp, Pomerania (now Słupsk, Poland), where he attended the Oberrealschule, until he was expelled for disobedience. From 1909 to 1911 he attended the Akademie der Künste in Dresden, where he met Kurt Günther, Bernhard Kretschmar (1889–1972) and Franz Lenk (1898–1968). Under his teacher Richard Müller (1874–1954), Grosz painted and drew from plaster casts. At this time he was unaware of such avant-garde movements as Die Brücke, also active in Dresden. In 1912 he studied with Emil Orlik at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin. A year later he moved to the Académie Colarossi in Paris, where he learnt a free drawing style that swiftly reached the essence of a motif....

Article

Gail Levin

(b Nyack, NY, July 22, 1882; d New York, May 15, 1967).

American painter, printmaker, and illustrator. He was brought up in a town on the Hudson River, where he developed an enduring love of nautical life (see fig.). When he graduated from Nyack Union High School in 1899, his parents, although supportive of his artistic aspirations, implored him to study commercial illustration rather than pursue an economically uncertain career in fine art. He studied with the Correspondence School of Illustrating in New York City (1899–1900). He continued to study illustration at the New York School of Art (1900–1906), under Arthur Keller (1866–1925) and Frank Vincent Du Mond (1865–1951), but began to study painting and drawing after a year. Hopper began in the portrait and still-life classes of William Merritt Chase, to whose teaching he later referred only infrequently and disparagingly. He preferred the classes he took with Kenneth Hayes Miller and especially those of ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 (...

Article

(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...

Article

Janet Marstine

(b Woodstown, NJ, Nov 6, 1876; d New York, May 1, 1953).

American painter, illustrator, designer, playwright, and film director. He studied industrial design at the Spring Garden School in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1890. In 1893 he became an illustrator at the Philadelphia Press. Simultaneously he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he met Robert Henri, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and George Luks. Their style of urban realism prompted him to depict the bleak aspects of city life. In 1897 Shinn moved to New York and produced illustrations for several newspapers and magazines, for example Mark Twain (March 1900; see Perlman, p. 80), a frontispiece for The Critic. He also drew sketches for a novel by William Dean Howells on New York; although the novel was not published, Shinn’s drawings brought him national recognition.

Shinn’s work changed radically when, on a trip to Paris in 1901, he was inspired by the theatre scenes of Manet, Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain. He began to paint performers in action, from unusual vantage points, as in ...