David Alfaro Siqueiros, Cosmos and Disaster, c.1936.
David Alfaro Siqueiros, Echo of a Scream.
Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads.
Diego Rivera, Panorama of Mexcian History.
José Clemente Orozco, Modern Migration of the Spirit, 1933, Dartmouth College.
José Clemente Orozco, Detail of Mural Gods of the Modern World, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.
José Clemente Orozco, Men on Fire.
Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Bald Woman With Skeleton).
Irving Norman, Spain 1938, 1942. Oil on canvas. This stark painting of a bomb shattered tree filled with bloody human body parts, is based on the artist’s battlefield experiences in the Spanish Civil War. While Picasso’s Guernica is the most famous painting depicting the war, Norman’s canvas is imbued with a frightful immediacy that came from his direct wartime encounters.
Irving Norman, Woman Ship Welder, 1943, graphite on paperboard.
Irving Norman, Celebration, 1953. Oil on canvas, 82 x 30 inches. Crocker Art Museum, loan and promised gift of Richard Graves and Stephen F. Melcher.
Irving Norman, Bacchanal, 1954. Oil on canvas, 69 x 39 inches. Collection of Morelle and Norman Levine.
Irving Norman, From Work, 1978. Oil on canvas, 80 x 92 inches. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of Hela Norman.
Jacob Lawrence, The Railroad Stations Were Crowded With Migrants, from the Migration Series.
Jacob Lawrence, Their Lives Were Often In Danger, from the Migration Series.
George Bellows, "Cliff Dwellers". Oil on canvas. 1913. 40 1/4 x 42 1/8 inches. In this canvas, Bellows painted the poor immigrant slums of New York’s Lower East Side. This work is the very embodiment of American Social Realism.
Jack Levine, The Patriarch of Moscow on a Visit to Jerusalem, 1975. Oil on canvas - 213.2 x 237 cm (84 x 96 in.), Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.
Jack Levine, Gangster Funeral, 1952-3.
Jack Levine, Welcome Home, 1946.
Jack Levine, Reception in Miami, 1948.
Ben Shahn, Father & Child, 1947.
Ben Shahn, Renascence, 1946.
Ben Shahn, Liberation, 1945.
Ben Shahn, East Twelfth Street, 1946.
Ben Shahn, Italian Landscape, 1943-1944. Ben Shahn said to his biographer: "During the war, I worked in the Office of War Information. We were supplied with a constant stream of material, photographic and other kinds of documentation of the decimation within enemy territory. There were the secret confidential horrible facts of the cartloads of dead...so many of which I knew well and cherished. There were the churches destroyed, the villages, the monasteries—Monte Cassino and Ravenna. At that time I painted only one theme, "Europa," you might call it. Particularly I painted Italy as I lamented it, or feared what it might have become."
Ben Shahn, Unemployment, 1938. This is probably the best example of Ben Shahn’s Social Realist style. In Unemployment, we are presented with six tired, weary looking men, who we can assume from the painting’s title are out of work. Despite becoming unfortunate victims of the Great Depression, a sense of dignity seems to remain among the men, specifically in their unfazed stares and postures.
America, 1930's - Social Realism is a naturalistic realism focusing specifically on social issues and the hardships of everyday life. The term usually refers to the urban American Scene artists of the Depression era, who were greatly influenced by the Ashcan School of early 20th century New York. Social Realism is somewhat of a pejorative label in the United States, where overtly political art, not to mention socialist politics, are extremely out of favor. Ben Shahn, Jack Levine and Jacob Lawrence are the best-known American Social Realists.