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American Expressionism

Dijkstra, Bram

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ISBN 10: 0810942313 / ISBN 13: 9780810942318
Published by Abrams, 2003
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Northmont Books and Stamps (Farmington Hills., MI, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A beautiful study and this is a mint copy. The book covers this form of American art from the 1920s to 1945. This book accomapanied the show of this work that travelled across America. Size: 10x12. Bookseller Inventory # 001241

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Bibliographic Details

Title: American Expressionism

Publisher: Abrams

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Traces the evolution of a distinctive art form in the United States, noting how most of its contributors were first- or second-generation immigrants living in urban or disadvantaged regions, and examining how the art of the period reflects ideals about equality, dignity, justice, and the challenges of the working class.


When Abstract Expressionism burst on the American scene in the 1940s, it elbowed another kind of American expressionism off the stage. Vivid evocations of the poor and disenfranchised in paintings by Jack Levine, Bernece Berkman and many others were now seen as stodgy and unsophisticated. In American Expressionism: Art and Social Change 1920-1950, cultural historian Bram Dijkstra argues that a generation of important left-wing artists, many of them Jewish, were the victims of intellectual, political and corporate interests bent on promoting a brighter, shinier United States. Unfortunately, Dijkstra undercuts his thesis with a haranguing tone, unconvincing analyses of individual works, and a dated view of abstraction as inherently "anti-humanist." His sweeping denunciation of "Nordic" (i.e., white, Protestant) artists leads him to view even an heroically scaled painting of a black soldier by John Steuart Curry—a "Nordic" artist collected by the NAACP—as a racist cartoon. At the heart of this contentious volume are 233 illustrations by dozens of little-known artists united by a passion for social justice. These works can be seen in a traveling exhibition at the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art from May 16 to August 24, 2003.—Cathy Curtis

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