Leftist 20th century artists in the USA


This video from the USA is called George Bellows Paintings.

From London daily The Morning Star:

The other side of US art revealed

(Monday 12 May 2008)

EXHIBITION: The American Scene Prints from Hopper to Pollock
British Museum, London WC1

CHRISTINE LINDEY discovers a fantastic exhibition of humanist prints from the US at the British Museum.

Edward Hopper and Jackson Pollock are well known in Britain, but few will be aware of John Sloan, Louis Lozowick, Robert Gwathmey, Blanche Grambs or Charles Keller. This is hardly surprising, since they were socialists or communists.

Active in the first half the 20th century, they were duly dismissed as “un-American” during the cold war. Along with many others, including apolitical realists, they were overlooked or marginalised by mainstream art history, written at that time which trumpeted the “triumph” of US abstractionism.

With a few exceptions such as Hopper, this skewed narrative has lingered to this day, particularly in Europe.

But not any more. This marvellous exhibition introduces them and other little-known US artists to the British public.

At the beginning of the century, the Ash Can School rejected the idealisations and pretensions of academic art to engage directly with unvarnished life. It included the socialists John Sloan and George Bellows, both of whom made illustrations for the left-wing magazine The Masses.

An admirer of Hogarth, Sloan advised his students to leave the studio to go out into the streets and look at life. His etching Roofs, Summer Night (1906) does just that.

American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family, published March 18 by Polity Press, is a fascinating volume that sheds light in particular on the Depression years in the US and some of the intellectual and artistic trends that emerged during that harsh era: here. And here.

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