05-27-08 Painting and Political Culture

05-27-08 Painting and Political Culture - Painting and...

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Painting and Political Culture, 1930s – 1950s I. Depression-Era Art II. Anti-Communism and the Critique of Depression-Era Painting III.Rise of Abstract Expressionism How can we account for the triumph of pictures that are said to portray the inner psyche of the painters? I. “John Reed Club” They associated themselves with Marxism. They said art should serve the needs of working people which summarize the whole idea of the “cultural front”. Another group of artists were the Regionalists: these painters held that true American values resided in the west and mid-west. Benton felt that they (the Regionalists) were obligated to depict scenes that could enlighten Americans about themselves and about the society. The close connection between the artists and the new deal gave rise to the new form of art. II. Erica Doss said by the late 1940s younger artists had begun to see the art of the 1930 and 40s as a failure. Also, Doss points out Benton’s attempt to popularize his art for educational purposes had failed for simple reasons.
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