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Social realism
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Social realism


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  • 2. Introduction Focused on the reality of the life of the working class and the poor. Aimed at social change. Defined primary by the message and political meaning, not style.
  • 3. Introduction Real life images. Can be in the form of paintings or photography. Usually painted in a naturalistic, descriptive style. Typically convey a message of social or political protest.
  • 4. Major Artists Dorothea Lange Grant Wood Ben Shahn Jacob Lawrence
  • 5. Dorothea Lange Photographer Most famous image was Migrant Mother. During World War Two she documented the interment of Japanese Americans in camps. Focused on women and minority groups at work in shipyards.
  • 6. Dorothea Lange Her work reflects insight, compassion, and empathy for her subjects. Documented the suffering of the dispossessed in breadlines and labor strikes. Worked for the Farm Security Administration as a part of a team who documented the impact of federal programs in improving rural conditions.
  • 7. Migrant Mother 1936
  • 8. On the Road
  • 9. California at last
  • 10. Grant Wood Most famous painting is “American Gothic”. Drew pictures of things and people that he knew. His paintings show the love that he had for people and the customs of Midwestern united states.
  • 11. Grant Wood During the depression, people liked to look at his paintings to make themselves feel better. Started an art colony and designed one of the largest stained glass windows ever. Paintings had a fairytale look about them.
  • 12. American Gothic- 1930
  • 13. Woman with plants
  • 14. Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
  • 15. Ben Shahn Immigrated here from Lithuania in 1906. Developed a keen sense of observation. He witnessed many social problems and experienced some himself because he was Jewish. Assistant of Diego Rivera.
  • 16. Ben Shahn Held strong socialist views. Often inspired by news reports. Joined the Public Works of Art project and completed many murals that dealt with anti- semitism and working conditions. Produced pictures for the office of war information and the congress of industrial organizations.
  • 17. Mural for Community Center, Jersey Homesteads
  • 18. Jacob Lawrence Favored abstract models of expression. Depicted the African American experience. Images reflect his keen observation of the sights and sounds of Harlem. Used simplified forms, patterns, repetition, and bold color to express mood and meaning.
  • 19. Migration of the negro series- 1940
  • 20. Migration of the negro series- 1940
  • 21. On the Way- 1990
  • 22. Origin Ashcan School Painters- American realist painters based in New York City. Depression Era- artists began to grapple more with jobs, poverty, political corruption, injustice, labor management, and conflict. Closely related to American scene painting and regionalism styles.
  • 23. Background Dates back to the Realist movement in French art during the mid-1800s. Many early artists were painters with socialist political views. Not an official art and allows room for subjectivity. Socialist realism is a specific branch of social realism.
  • 24. Background Expresses emotion The movement occurs during the Great Depression. Focus of the artist is to show the working class as heroes. Artists pledged to fight the beautiful art, which was anything that appealed to the eye.
  • 25. Influences Great Depression Mexican Revolution Industrial Revolution- urban cities grow and class distinction. Developed as a reaction against idealism and the exaggerated ego created by Romantism.
  • 26. Influences Realism- style painting that depicts the actuality of what they eyes can see. Imagery appears in magazine advertisements and children books. Eventually falls out of favor as more edgy art styles take over.
  • 27. Continued Themes Allows political message Social Realism movies such as “Dead End”. (East side of Manhattan living in mansions while the poor people live in the streets below). Discards superstition and mysticism.
  • 28. Purpose Aimed at social change. Ways to deal with social problems and all of the suffering occurring during the time. Highlight social problems and attack social injustices within the American society.
  • 29. Purpose Display the plights of laborers and disenfranchised individuals. Inspired Americans to reflect on their heritage of revolution, hard work, and religion. Attempt to bring back prosperity.
  • 30. Recognition Associated with the hard edged muscular forms popularized by Mexican muralists, Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. Most common in big cities such as New York, Detroit, and Chicago. Many artists adopted elements from the work of the Mexican muralists.
  • 31. Theme/Style Depicts social issues. Struggling social class Everyday life Poverty Emotions
  • 32. Connected Movements Regionalism- A realist modern art movement where artists shunned the city to focus on the scenes of rural life. Cannot be confused with the Russian Socialists Realism movement. Some artists fall under the category of both social realism and regionalism.
  • 33. Connected Movements The works the stress local and small town themes are American Regionalism. Those depicting urban scenes are social realism.
  • 34. Public Reactions Outraged because they did not know how to look at it or what to do with it. Created a new sense of social awareness.
  • 35. Summary Focuses on the ugly realities of contemporary life and sympathized with working class people and the poor. Response to the desperate economic and social conditions. An accurate depiction of reality.