Read American Expressionism: Art and Social Change 1920-1950 by Bram Dijkstra Online

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During the 1920s and '30s and until the end of World War II, a distinctly American form of Expressionism evolved. Most of the artists in this movement, children of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, African-Americans and other outsiders to American mainstream culture, grew up in the urban ghettoes of the East Coast or Chicago. Their art was sympathetic to the disDuring the 1920s and '30s and until the end of World War II, a distinctly American form of Expressionism evolved. Most of the artists in this movement, children of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, African-Americans and other outsiders to American mainstream culture, grew up in the urban ghettoes of the East Coast or Chicago. Their art was sympathetic to the disposessed and reflected a deep concern with the lives of working people. Providing a look at this art - and the beginnings of a new movement, Abstract Expressionism, which followed it - cultural historian Bram Dijkstra offers insights into the roots of painting in modern America....

Title : American Expressionism: Art and Social Change 1920-1950
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ISBN : 9780810942318
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

American Expressionism: Art and Social Change 1920-1950 Reviews

  • Rick
    2018-11-14 00:22

    The main weakness of American Expressionism is the extreme and unrelenting bias of the author. Dijkstra is quick to establish a divide between the evil, racist, self-aggrandizing, “Nordic” (i.e., Northern European) ruling class, and the sincere and socially engaged Eastern European, Southern European, and Asian immigrant class. For Dijkstra, the main criterion for art is social commitment. He consequently dismisses American regionalists like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood out of hand and goes on to say that “we must … confront the troubling connections that did, and continue to, exist between regionalism and the conventions of Nazi and Soviet propaganda art” (53). After World War II, American art was robbed of content when corporate art collectors fundamentally changed the market, all to fulfill the “frivolous ambitions of vastly overpaid CEOs” (118). Dijkstra clearly believes what he’s saying, but that does not keep him from being at times disingenuous. Particularly pathetic is his pointing out the corporate and “Nordic” bias implicit in the fact that none of the “alien” names he is writing about are included in the spell-checker dictionary on Microsoft Word (16)!