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Figures of Speech: Social Realism of the WPA Era

October 9 – November 17, 1990


Press Release

Artists included in this exhibition: Thomas Hart Benton, Julius Bloch, Aaron Bohrod, James Chapin, Max A. Cohn, Dorothy Cogswell, John Costigan, Philip Evergood, Emlen Etting, Ernest Fiene, William Gropper, George Grosz, Robert Gwathmey, Irwin Hoffman, Joe Jones, Mervin Jules, Bernard Karfiol, Rockwell Kent, Leon Kroll, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Saul Levine, Seymour Lipton, Molly Luce, Kyra Markham, Reginald Marsh, Paul Meltsner, Guy Pene DuBois, Carl Pickhardt, Louis Ribak, William Schwartz, Ben Shahn, Burr Singer, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, James Turnbull, Yvonne Twining, Joseph Vorst, and Guy Wiggins
During the 1930s and early 1940s, social realism dominated the American art scene. The turmoil of the Great Depression followed by the outbreak of World War II caused the American artistic community to react and speak out through imagery. While some artists addressed economic, political, and social

problems with powerful liberal statements, others focused conservatively on optimistic subjects which glorified everyday life. Regardless of the approach, it was the image of the artist's fellow man which frequently functioned as the means of artistic expression.

More than twenty-five figurative paintings by a selection of artists will be on view. Well recognized artists will be represented in addition to several significant yet neglected artist of the era.