Art of the 20th Century




A Revolution in the Arts

 

 


Art Styles in 20th century Art Map

 

 

The New Architecture
 

 

 

The New Architecture
Karl Ehn
Adolf Loos
Frank Lloyd Wright
Luigi Figini
Gino Pollini
Adalberto Libera

Artists Groups - 1930
MIAR (Movimento Italiano per l’Architettura Razionale
)
-1930
Neo-Romanticism. British movement - 1930
Neo-Realisme. Term used to describe a movement  French painters-1930
GATEPAC.Spanish group of architects - 1930
Concrete art. Term coined by Theo van Doesburg in 1930

The Harlem Renaissance (early 1920's to 1930's)
Archibald Motley  
Jacob Lawrence

Romare Bearden 
William H. Johnson 
Aaron Douglas

Lois Mailou Jones
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
Sargent Claude Johnson
James Van Der Zee
Palmer Hayden
Allan Rohan Crite

American Scene Painting -1931
Charles Burchfield
Regionalism
John Steuart Curry
Roger Medearis
Thomas Hart Benton

Grant Wood

Social realism
Reginald Marsh
Jack Levine

Abstraction-Creation - 1931
Jean Helion
Georges Vantongerloo
Georges Valmier

 



 

After World War I, architects in Europe and the US were full of new ideas.

They now thought of buildings not only as prototypes for the future of

architecture but also as an integral part of their surroundings, whether

rural, suburban, or urban. Simplicity masking organized

complexity was the new order of the day.

 

 

 

By the time the "Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes'' opened in Paris in 1925, the interwar Modern Movement had already begun to gather momentum, and the forms and methods of town planning and architecture were undergoing a fundamental transformation. The exhibition marked the success of a specific style that was closely associated with the production of useful objects for the home, interior decoration, and building construction. The entrances and pavilions of the exhibition itself (with the exception of Le Corbusier's ascetic and uncompromisingly modern pavilion, Esprit nouveau) demonstrated how the trend towards decorative linearity, later known as "Art Deco", could not only co-exist but also blend happily with more purist shapes or forms typical of the so-called "retro eclecticism". The new style was also compatible with the far more austere and rationalist designs of modern architecture.

 
 

MANHATTAN'S ART DECO SKYSCRAPERS

The flowering of the Art Deco style in the US was remarkable for the way that it retained a high quality of detailing in spite of its widespread application. In Manhattan alone, some 150 Art Deco skyscrapers were built within the space often years. The style assumed its own recognizable American form, drawing on older, indigenous sources for inspiration and absorbing the ideas of the Chicago School, which had been responsible for developing the modern office building after the Great Fire of 1871.The flamboyance of the new style also created an element of symbolic liberation from European cultural colonialism, and an opportunity to show how the New World had forged ahead technologically. Following a visit to the 1925 Paris Exhibition, some members of the Architectural League of New York signed a declaration in favour of encouraging the development of a new architectural style. Its specific aim was to meet American requirements while continuing to apply any useful technical and stylistic lessons to be learned from Europe. The Chrysler Building, designed by William van Alen and built between 1928 and 1930, is among the finest examples of Art Deco in the US. Like the earlier Eiffel Tower in Paris (1889), its slender silhouette soars up above the city surroundings; from its high, compact "base", it gradually tapers into a pointed tower with six gleaming semicircles on each side, surmounted by a steel spire and eye-catching ornamentation. This modern and technically state-of-the-art structure was a fitting headquarters for the highly successful automobile manufacturer, Chrysler. The architects of the Chanin Building of 1929, John Sloan and M. T. Robertson, were influenced by French designs and introduced extensive decorative detail to door and window frames, iron grilles, and the structures brick exterior. Ornamentation was also exploited in the design by Leonard Schultze and J. Weaver of the Waldorf Astoria — a modern interpretation of a temple with a centralized plan and domed roof.

 

 

New Trends of the Interwar Years

From the turn of the century until World War I, architecture was affected only marginally by the avant-garde movements of Cubism and Expressionism, which were the principal engines of change and innovation in painting and sculpture. Raymond Duchamp-Villon's La maison cubiste (Cubist House) project of 1912 and Rudolf Steiner's experimental building at Dornach - a material expression of anthroposophy, the spiritualist doctrine founded by Steiner - were just two examples of the trend. With so much rebuilding to repair war damage required in Europe, attention was once more focused on architecture. This was to be the turning point towards a stylistic renewal, leading to a demand for a break with tradition and the abandonment of historic, national styles in favour of a new, modern, and thoroughly cosmopolitan style. The condition for such a revolution was the belief that systematic analysis could lead to a rational solution to all the problems of postwar society and that cities could be made to function more efficiently and meet the needs of their inhabitants. Moreover, art had to be seen as capable of improving humankind's lot, of contributing to social progress and the democratic education of society. These beliefs were central to the philosophy of Walter Gropius (1883-1969), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), and Le Corbusier (1887-1965). Each of these architects had his own methods of town planning and organization, and all three saw the relationship between man and his habitat as a unitary problem, in which ethics took precedence over aesthetics. These views were most readily adopted and implemented by countries where progressive opinion had triumphed over reactionary tendencies -social-democratic Germany, the Netherlands, and Soviet Russia. Given that architecture was deemed capable of serving a social need, the most outstanding talents were employed in the public sector. The prevailing shortage had been caused partly by the war but mainly by the vast increase in the number of people coming to seek work in the industrialized cities. Among the many workers' housing projects were those planned in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia by the German architect Ernst May and, shortly afterwards, by Hannes Meyer and Mart Stam, who both taught at the Bauhaus. The Dutch architect Jacobus Oud (1890-1963) created working-class housing in Rotterdam, and Karl Ehn (1884-1957) designed large, innovative residential units constructed around courtyards; his fortress-like Karl-Marx-Hof in Vienna (1926-27) is a prime example. The more progressive architects of the day all formulated new ideas for housing, devising apartment blocks, individual family homes, and terraced houses. In all these cases the brief was the same: space was scarce, so buildings had to extend upwards rather than outwards; the designs had to be simple, functional, and geometrical, and serve a practical purpose; and technology had to be exploited as much as possible, with the use of mass-produced, prefabricated sections. In addition, the minimum tolerable living space had to be identified; this had to be enough to ensure that each inhabitant would have sufficient air, light, and warmth for a healthy life. The adoption of a rational, modern type of architecture, with its few distinguishing features and little or no regional or historical references, meant that a certain uniformity of style was discernible in the work of European and North American architects. They learned of their contemporaries' ideas and designs through architectural publications, exhibitions, competitions, and conventions, which were held at frequent intervals during the interwar years. In 1922, for example, Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, Hannes Meyer, Hans Scharoun, and Adolf Loos all competed with one another for the commission to design the new head office of the Chicago Tribune. Five years later, an opportunity arose to put the new theories into practice when a competition was held for the League of Nations headquarters in Geneva; although Le Corbusiers design was ruled out, his purist credo was subsequently to prove immensely influential. In the same year, Mies van der Rohe, on behalf of the Deutsche Werkbund (an association of architects, craftsmen, teachers, and industrialists), submitted a project for an experimental, rationalist housing estate in Stuttgart. The resulting development, on which he invited fellow architects Adolf Schneck, Jacobus Oud, Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, Peter Behrens, and Hans Poelzig to collaborate, made use of the most up-to-date building standardization technology. In 1931, Gropius, Erich Mendelsohn, Poelzig, and Le Corbusiers all failed to win the commission to build the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow, a project that was awarded to B.M. Iofan, a modern architect of the "academic" persuasion.

 


Karl Ehn
Karl-Marx-Hof, Vienna, 1926-27



 


Adolf Loos
Project for the
Chicago Tribune Building
1923
 

THE ANTI-DECORATIVE THEORIES OF ADOLF LOOS

The architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) worked mainly in Vienna after gaining early experience in the US. where he was influenced by the functionalist Chicago School. In 1908, he wrote a highly contentious article entitled Ornament und Verbrechen (Ornament and Crime), an indictment of ornament that attacked the Secession designers, then in vogue in Vienna, and their extravagant use of decoration for furniture and buildings. Loos had already written a series of articles for the Neite Freie Presse and his periodical The Other, in which he promoted the ideas that governed his own work, contrasting them with current "stylistic exercises". He maintained that designers and all their artistic scribblings were utterly superfluous. What were needed were new shapes and lines, which should be determined by the requirements of everyday life, comfort, and practicality. In support of his proto-rationalist beliefs, the highly polemic Loos went as far as to open a Free School of Architecture in 1906. This proved to be a less successful vehicle for his views than his actual commissions (the Villa Karma near Montreux, Switzerland, and the Steiner and Schue houses in Vienna).

 


Adolf Loos
V
illa in Stresovice

 

 


Adolf Loos
Tristan Tzara House, 1926


Adolf Loos

House of Michaelerplatz

 

 

 

 

Organic Architecture

The contemporaneous style known as "organic architecture" (as it was originally described by Louis Sullivan, the most important architect of the Chicago School) developed primarily as a response to rationalism and was soon enthusiastically adopted in the US. Both trends, however, were architectural phenomena that drew their inspiration from avant-garde artistic experiments that had taken place during the first two decades of the century: Cubism, Abstraction, and Neo-plasticism. All of these movements played their part in fostering a taste for "clean" lines and a sparing use of ornament to create an architectural style that, while disjointed and asymmetrical, nonetheless achieved a dynamic balance. Mass tended to be treated as compact blocks, allowing for space to be organized in new and unconventional ways. The division of internal space depended on the individual architect's interpretation of how it would best fulfil its particular function and the needs of the occupants. The treatment of the exterior was non-hierarchical, so there was no single, dominant elevation.

The numerous and disparate practitioners of modern architecture, however, shared the wish of those at the forefront of the arts world to sever all links with historic styles, to exploit technology, and to emphasize structural elements rather than hide them under decorative coverings. In contrast to the rationalists' strictly geometric approach, organic architecture treated space as an organism that should be modified in accordance with its purpose and its environment. It should not impose its own order, nor establish an a priori design methodology, but instead develop freely with a variety and richness of form and materials, blending together nature and artifice in a harmonious synthesis. The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959) was a champion of this design philosophy. He maintained it throughout his long professional life in a wide variety of commissions across the globe. Wright's unique interpretation of "abstraction" and "spatial continuity" was illustrated by his preference for free planes and curvilinear rhythms, his adoption of elastic structures and flexible floor plans, and his exploitation of the play of light by using transparent and pierced components. Wright was always aware of the symbiosis between the individual and the architectural space (many of his designs were for family homes, notably his Prairie Houses) and between the individual and nature, respecting the principle that "architecture must exclude anything that clashes with nature and man's character". Wright's philosophy had a profound influence on European architecture, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia.

 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Kaufmann House, Bear Run Pennsylvania, 1936-39.

 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York


 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Hanna Residence, Palo Alto, California

 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Jacobs House, Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

 


Frank Lloyd Wright
Pfeiffer Chapel, Lakeland, Florida

 



 

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MIAR
(Movimento Italiano per l’Architettura Razionale
)

Italian architectural movement founded in 1930. Dissolved in 1931, it was a short-lived coalition of the largest group of Italian Rationalist architects assembled between the two world wars. Succeeding two previous associations of Rationalist architects, Gruppo 7 and the Movimento dell’ Architettura Razionale (MAR), it was composed of a range of regional groups: Piero Bottoni (b 1903), Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini, Pietro Lingeri and Giuseppe Terragni in Milan, Bruno Lapadula (b 1902), Luigi Piccinato (b 1899) and Mario Ridolfi in Rome, Gino Levi Montalcini, Giuseppe Pagano and Ettore Sottsass (1892–1953) in Turin, as well as a mixed group composed of Alberto Sartoris, Mario Labo and Adalberto Libera, who was the national secretary.

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THE ITALIAN MOVEMENT FOR RATIONAL ARCHITECTURE

In Italy, the Modern Movement was promoted by the Gruppo 7 - a group of seven young architects from Lombardy (Luigi Figini, Guido Frette, Sebastiano Larco, Adalberto Libera, Gino Pollini, Enrico Rava, and Giuseppe Terragni) -who argued the case for Rational architecture against the monumentalism beloved of the Fascist regime. In a series of articles published in La Rassegna italiana from December 1926 onwards, the group declared its mission to free architecture from the Futurist avant-garde (reflecting their antipathy for its vehement and individualistic approach) and also from a cultural climate in which Italian architecture did not reflect the spirit of the times. They were also against personal style and original creativity, seeking to establish basic types of architecture based on the criteria of logic, order, clarity, and complete adherence to functionalism. At the same time, they wanted to avoid a total break with the enduring values of classical architecture and the European tradition.

Adalberto Libera was the driving force behind the MIAR (Movimento Italiano per I'Architettura Razionale), which in 1928 expanded from the initial Gruppo 7, to include other leading Italian architects, including Giuseppe Pagano (1896-1945). The MIAR held two exhibitions in Rome in 1928 and 1931. Exhibits included interior decoration schemes and designs for industrial buildings, models of garages, gas plants, the so-called "electrical houses", and an apartment block built by Giuseppe Terragni for the Societa Novocomum in Como in 1927-28.
 

 




 

 

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Rationalism
Term applied to architecture of the 20th century that is characterized by a scientifically reasoned but ethical attitude to design, accompanied by a desire to adopt the most rational possible built form in relation to structure and construction. It evolved in reaction against 19th-century eclecticism and the apparent failure of Art Nouveau to replace it, while admiration for the imaginative use of materials and techniques in engineering works of the same century led to a concern with the integrity of style in relation to construction. The term encompasses much of the architecture of the MODERN MOVEMENT and INTERNATIONAL STYLE but has often been confused with FUNCTIONALISM, to which similar origins and implications are often ascribed. In addition to its more general architectural meaning, the term has been applied in a special way to Italian modernism of the 1920s and 1930s (Razionalismo) and, after 1966, still more specifically to the architecture and urban design movement TENDENZA initiated by Aldo Rossi.
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Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini
Opera completa



Adalberto Libera
Ostia Lido, Lungomare, Villa Tipo A, 1932 - 34




 

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Neo-Romanticism

British movement of the 1930s to early 1950s in painting, illustration, literature, film and theatre. Neo-Romantic artists focused on a personal, poetic vision of the landscape and on the vulnerable human body, in part as an insular response to the threat of invasion during World War II. Essentially Arcadian and with an emphasis on the individual, the Neo-Romantic vision fused the modernist idioms of Pablo Picasso, Andre Masson and Pavel Tchelitchew with Arthurian legend, the poetry of William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and the prints of William Blake and Samuel Palmer. Celebrated as modern yet essentially traditional, its linear, lyrical and poetic characteristics were thought to epitomize the northern spirit. Neo-Romanticism flourished in response to the wartime strictures, threat of aerial bombardment and post-war austerity of the 1940s, in an attempt to demonstrate the survival and freedom of expression of the nation’s spiritual life.
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Neo-
Realisme

Term used to describe a movement among certain French painters in the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in works of a poetic naturalist style. Among the main exponents were Maurice Asselin, Jean-Louis Boussingault, Maurice Brianchon, Charles Dufresne, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Raymond-Jean Legueult (b 1898), Robert Lotiron (b 1886) and Luc-Albert Moreau; Dunoyer de Segonzac was the unofficial leader. Though there was no conscious grouping, various of these artists were associated in an informal way. Néo-Réalisme arose in reaction to modern movements such as Cubism and Surrealism, which were seen as breaking with the French tradition. Essentially it was a manifestation of the post-war ‘rappel à l’ordre’, and the artists concerned attempted to steer a path between modernism and academicism. It placed primary emphasis on the study of reality and nature as ordinarily perceived, and its aesthetic was well summed up by Dunoyer de Segonzac’s statement (Jamot, p. 102):The search for originality at any price has led only to a terrible monotony. The world of illegibility, the lecture-picture and the puzzle-picture, which are a result of a decadent symbolism, is going to become dated...In actual fact the French tradition has been carried on quietly by Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse and many others...There has been no break with the magnificent school which stretches from Jean Fouquet to Cézanne.Typical of the style is Dunoyer de Segonzac’s Church of Chaville (Winter) (1934–7; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris). Néo-Réalisme is not connected with the later movement Nouveau Réalisme.

 


Dunoyer de Segonzac
(1884-1974)



The Farm on the Estate
1923



The Road from Grimaud
1937

 




 

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GATEPAC
(Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Espanoles para el Progreso de la Arquitectura Contemporanea).
 

Spanish group of architects. It developed from GATCPAC, a Catalan group formed in 1930 by JOSEP LLUÍS SERT, JOSEP TORRES I CLAVÉ, Sixto Illescas (1903–86) and Juan Baptista Subirana (1904–79). In 1930 GATEPAC was founded as a state body bringing the Catalan group together with a group of architects from central Spain, the most prominent of whom was FERNANDO GARCÍA MERCADAL, and a group from the Basque country that included José María Aizpurua (1904–36) and Joaquín Labayen (1904–74). It remained active until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. GATEPAC was the Spanish representative in CIRPAC and in CIAM, and the architecture designed and promoted by the group can be seen as exemplifying the orthodox Rationalism of the 1930s. Although the young architects who belonged to GATEPAC were all influenced to some extent by Le Corbusier, they also showed a particular preoccupation with the relation of architecture to technical considerations and to social and economic conditions. The group’s theoretical concepts were thus closely related to the principles of Neue Sachlichkeit.
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Concrete art

Term coined by Theo van Doesburg in 1930 to refer to a specific type of non-figurative painting and sculpture. Van Doesburg defined the term in the first and only issue of Art Concret, which appeared in April 1930 with a manifesto, The Basis of Concrete Art, signed by van Doesburg, Otto G. Carlsund, Jean Helion and the Armenian painter Leon Tutundjian (1905–68). In the manifesto it was stated that ‘The painting should be constructed entirely from purely plastic elements, that is to say planes and colours. A pictorial element has no other significance than itself and consequently the painting possesses no other significance than itself.’ Natural forms, lyricism and sentiment were strictly forbidden. Taking a narrow sense of the word ‘abstract’ as implying a starting-point in the visible world, it distinguishes Concrete art from ABSTRACT ART as emanating directly from the mind rather than from an abstraction of forms in nature. For this reason the term is sometimes applied retrospectively to the more cerebral abstract works by such other artists as Mondrian, Kandinsky, Malevich and Frantisek Kupka.
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Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
(1877-1968)
 Ethiopia Awakening
 


The Harlem Renaissance
(early 1920's to 1930's)

The Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African-American social thought that was expressed through the visual arts, as well as through music (Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday), literature (Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W.E.B. DuBois), theater (Paul Robeson) and dance (Josephine Baker). Centered in the Harlem district of New York City, the New Negro Movement (as it was called at the time) had a profound influence across the United States and even around the world.

The intellectual and social freedom of the era attracted many Black Americans from the rural south to the industrial centers of the north - and especially to New York City.
 


Sargent Claude Johnson
(1887-1967) 


Head of a Negro Woman
1935



Mother and Child


Harlem Renaissance

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Also called New Negro Movement, period of outstanding literary vigour and creativity that took place in the 1920s, changing the character of literature created by black Americans, from quaint dialect works and conventional imitations of white writers to sophisticated explorations of black life and culture that revealed and stimulated a new confidence and racial pride. The movement centred in the vast black ghetto of Harlem, in New York City, where aspiring black artists, writers, and musicians gathered, sharing their experiences and providing mutual encouragement. One of the leading figures of the period was James Weldon Johnson, author of the pioneering novel Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912), and perhaps best known for God's Trombones (1927), a collection of seven sermons in free verse, expressing the characteristic style and themes of the black preacher in pure and eloquent English. Johnson also acted as mentor to many of the young black writers who formed the core of the Harlem group. Claude McKay, an immigrant from Jamaica, produced an impressive volume of verse, Harlem Shadows (1922), and a best-selling novel, Home to Harlem (1928), about a young Negro's return from World War I. Countee Cullen was another important black poet. Cullen helped bring more Harlem poets to public notice by editing Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets in 1927. Langston Hughes published his first collection of verse, The Weary Blues, in 1926, and his novel Not Without Laughter appeared in 1930. Wallace Thurman and William Jourden Rapp collaborated on a popular play, Harlem, in 1929. Thurman, one of the most individualistic talents of the period, also wrote a satirical novel, The Blackerthe Berry (1929), that ridiculed some elements of the New Negro movement. The Harlem Renaissance was accelerated by philanthropic grants and scholarships and was supported by white writers such as Carl Van Vechten, author of Nigger Heaven (1926).
The Great Depression caused the Harlem group of writers to scatter; manywere forced to leave New York or to take other jobs to tide them over the hard times.
 




Mrs. Turner, Lenox, Massachusetts 



 


New York City, 1930


James Van Der Zee (1886- 1983)

In full James Augustus Joseph Van Der Zee American photographer whose portraits chronicled the Harlem Renaissance.
Van Der Zee made his first photographs as a boy in Lenox, Massachusetts. By 1906 he had moved with his father and brother to Harlem in New York City, where he worked as a waiter and elevator operator. In 1915 Van Der Zee moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he took a job in a portrait studio, first as a darkroom assistant and then as a portraitist. He returned to Harlem the followingyear, setting up a portrait studio at a music conservatory that his sister had founded in 1911.
In 1916 Van Der Zee and his second wife, Gaynella Greenlee, launched the Guarantee Photo Studio in Harlem. His business boomed during World War I, and the portraits heshot from this period until 1945 have demanded the majorityof critical attention. Among his many renowned subjects were poet Countee Cullen, dancer Bill (“Bojangles”) Robinson, and black-nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Van Der Zee worked predominantly in the studio and used a variety of props, including architectural elements, backdrops, and costumes, to achieve stylized tableaux vivants in keeping with late Victorian and Edwardian visual traditions. Sitters often copied celebrities of the 1920s and '30s in their poses and expressions, and Van Der Zee retouched negatives and prints heavily to achieve an aura ofglamour. Van Der Zee also created funeral photographs between the wars. These works were collected in The HarlemBook of the Dead (1978), with a forward by Toni Morrison.
After World War II, Van Der Zee's fortunes declined with those of the rest of Harlem. He made ends meet with occasional commissions and with a side business in photo restoration. By the time his collection of negatives and printswas discovered by a representative of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1967, the Van Der Zees were nearly destitute. In early 1969 his photos were featured as part of the museum's successful “Harlem on My Mind” exhibition, which showcased life during the Harlem Renaissance in a variety of media.
Van Der Zee won increasing attention throughout the 1970s, and, from late in that decade until his death in 1983, he photographed many celebrities and promoted his work in shows around the country. In 1993 a retrospective of his work was held at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)
 



Alpha Phi Alpha Basketball Team, 1926



Evening Attire




 


Palmer Hayden 
(1890-1973)



The Janitor who Paints
1930


Blue Nile




 


Allan Rohan Crite 
Born 1910



Harriet and Leon



Marble Players



School's Out







Harlem Renaissance

 



Archibald Motley 



Jacob Lawrence 



Romare Bearden 

 

 

 
 

 

 



William H. Johnson



Aaron Douglas



Lois Mailou Jones






 

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American Scene Painting


(1931-1940)


American Scene Painting
is a general term encompassing the mainstream realist and antimodernist style of painting popular in the United States during the Great Depression. A reaction against the European Modernism, it was seen as an attempt to define a uniquely American style of art.
The American Scene basically consisted of two main schools, the rurally-oriented Regionalism, and the urban and political Social Realism.
A few artists escaped being closely associated with either the Regionalist or Social Realist camps, including Charles Burchfield and Edward Hopper.
 


Charles Burchfield
(1893-1967)



The Coming of Spring



End of the Day
1938



Hill Top at High Noon
1925



February Thaw
1920



Lavendar and Old Lace
1939



Street Scene
1940-1947




 

Regionalism

Movement that dominated painting in the USA throughout the 1930s. Originally applied to the novels of everyday life in the South by such writers as John Crowe Ransom and Robert Penn Warren, the term was later used to describe an artistic trend exemplified by realistic depictions of identifiably American subjects, which celebrated the positive aspects of life in the USA. Other artists, such as Ben Shahn and the Soyer brothers, also produced realistic pictures of typically American subjects, but their work, known as
Social Realism, took a critical approach. These two movements are part of the phenomenon known as American Scene Painting.
 


John Steuart Curry

(1897-1946)

 



 


Roger Medearis
(1920-2001)



MacDonald Farm



Godly Susan



 


Thomas Hart Benton



Grant Wood




 

Social realism

Term used to refer to the work of painters, printmakers, photographers and film makers who draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working classes and the poor, and who are critical of the social structures that maintain these conditions. In general it should not be confused with SOCIALIST REALISM, the official art form of the USSR, which was institutionalized by Joseph Stalin in 1934, and later by allied Communist parties worldwide. Social realism, in contrast, represents a democratic tradition of independent socially motivated artists, usually of left-wing or liberal persuasion. Their preoccupation with the conditions of the lower classes was a result of the democratic movements of the 18th and 19th centuries, so social realism in its fullest sense should be seen as an international phenomenon, despite the term’s frequent association with American painting. While the artistic style of social realism varies from nation to nation, it almost always utilizes a form of descriptive or critical realism (e.g. the work in 19th-century Russia of the WANDERERS).

 


Reginald Marsh


Jack Levine




 

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Abstraction-Creation

International group of painters and sculptors, founded in Paris in February 1931 and active until 1936. It succeeded another short-lived group, CERCLE ET CARRÉ, which had been formed in 1929 with similar intentions of promoting and exhibiting abstract art. Its full official title was Abstraction-Création: Art non-figuratif. The founding committee included August Herbin (president), Georges Vantongerloo (vice-president), Hans Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Helion, Naum Gabo, Georges Valmier and Frantisek Kupka.

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Jean Helion


 

 




 

 


Abstraction-Creation

(Enciclopaedia Britannica)

Association of international painters and sculptors that from 1931 to 1936 promoted the principles of pure abstraction in art.
The immediate predecessor of the Abstraction-Création group was the Cercle et Carré (“Circle and Square”) group, founded by Michel Seuphor and Joaquin Torres-Garcia in 1930. Artists Georges Vantongerloo, Jean Hélion, and Auguste Herbin worked together to form a similar association, and by 1931 they managed to attract over 40 members to a group they called Abstraction-Création. That same year an annual periodical published by Hélion and Herbin, Abstraction-Création, debuted and took over the Cercle et Carré's mailing list. The members whose work was represented in the first issue of the journal did not have a unified style, but rather they came from a variety of international movements that promoted formal purity and nonobjectivity: members Theo van Doesberg and Piet Mondrian were active in De Stijl (“The Style”), László Moholy-Nagy came from the Bauhaus, and Robert Delaunay practiced elements of late Cubism. While its central members leaned toward geometric abstraction, as a group Abstraction-Création advocated the general cause of abstraction and actively promoted it through its journal and regular exhibitions of its members' work.
The loosely affiliated association, which was centred in Paris, eventually counted over 400 members, including international artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Naum Gabo, Josef Albers, Arshile Gorky, and Barbara Hepworth, most of whom lived in Paris for a time. The group's last journal appeared in 1936. Abstraction-Création's advocacy of abstraction was taken up after World War II by the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (“Salon of New Realities”).
 

 


Georges Vantongerloo
(1886, Antwerp-1965, Paris)



Intervalles



Construction within a Sphere
1917



Construction of Volume Relations
 


Interrelation of Volumes
1919
 



Construction of Volumetric Interrelationships Derived from the Inscribed Square and the Square Circumscribed by a Circle
1924




 


Georges Valmier
(French, 1885-1937)



Nature Morte
1926



Jeune homme lisant
1925



Untitled
1930



Untitled
 

 

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