Narrative Painting in the Twentieth Century
American Art is synonymous in the public mind with abstraction and painterliness
for its own sake; that Abstract Expressionism cannot be understood without
recourse to subject matter. That in reacting against European modes
of imagemaking, there came into being an eccentric figure drawing style
with strong narrative possibilities.That the career of Philip Gaston
exactly mirrors the promise and failures of American painting as it
tried to define those narrative possibilities.
1. Some surprising Artists.
1.1 Paul Cadmus ; b.1904,
1.2 George Tooker; b.1920, studied under Marsh, Cadmus and Kenneth
1.3 Jared French ; b. 1905.
1.4 Peter Blume , b.1906.
1.5 Marvin Cone 1891-1965;
1.6 Clarence Holbrook Carter , b.1904.
1.7 Robert Riggs 1897- 1970;
1.8 Hananiah Harari, b.1905; being figurative and non-figurative at
the same time.
1.9 Alexander Hogue , b.1898;
Regionalist Masters ;
Thomas Hart Benton,
John Steuart Curry,
Figure Painters ;
Peto and Harnett
Other narrative painters you should know about ;
see also artist illustrators working for the ads
Themes of the Lecture ;
The impact of the city and its technology.
The tension with the agricultural.
The depiction of the body despite the Ecole de Paris and the influence
The sensuality of the American figurative and the influence of gay artists.
The satirical intent of American Art versus the dramatic narrative of
the Mexican muralists (Rivera, Siquieros).
I have used for the Lecture.
Belisario Contreras, Tradition and Innovation in New Deal Art
, Assoc.Univ.Press, London 1983.
Carey and Griffiths, ex.catal., American Prints 1879-1979
,British Museum, London, 1980.
Milton Brown (ed), ex.cat., The Modern Spirit, American Painting
1908-1935, ACGB London 1977.
Apollo Magazine, March 1981, entire issue on "American
M.S.Young, American Realists, Homer to Hopper, Galahad,
Heller and Williams, Painters of the American Scene
,Galahad, NY, 1982.
J.Wechsler, Surrealism and American Art, Rutgers Univ.Art
ex.cat., American Art 1934-1956, selections from the
Whitney Museum, Montgomery, Ala., 1978.
Karen Tsujimoto, Images of America, Precisionist Painting and
Modern Photography, Univ.of Washington Press, London, 1982.
Hills and Tarbell, The Figurative Tradition and the Whitney
Museum of American Art ,Whitney, NY, 1980.
Buckley and Agee, The Ebsworth Collection; American Modernism
1911 - 1947 ,St.Louis Art Museum, 1988.
Nygren and Marzio, American Figurative Art from the Corcoran
Gallery. Smithsonian, Wash.,1981.
Matthew Baigell, The American Scene, American Painting of the
1930's, Praeger, NY, 1974.
Lincoln Kerstein, Paul Cadmus, Imago, NY 1984.
Thomas H.Garver, George Tooker ,Rizzoli, NY, 1985.
F.A.Trapp, Peter Blume ,Rizzoli, NY 1987.
J.Czestochowski, Marvin Cone ,Dutton, NY, 1985.
Trapp, Dreisshpoon, Pau-Llosa, Clarence Holbrook Carter,
Rizzoli, NY, 1989.
Ben Bassham, The Lithographs of Robert Riggs , Art
Alliance, Phil., 1986.
Lea DeLong, Nature's Forms/Nature's Forces, The Art of Alexander
Hogue ,Univ.of Oklahoma Press, 1984/5.
McGrath and Glick, Paul Sample, Painter of the American Scene
, ex.cat., Dartmouth College, 1988.
Lloyd Goodrich, Edward Hopper, Abrams, NY, 1971.
Gail Levin, Edward Hopper as Illustrator, Whitney,
The Prints of Reginald Marsh ,Potter, NY 1976.
Barbara Haskell , Charles Demuth ,Whitney/Abrams, NY
Wanda Corn, Grant Wood, The Regionalist Vision ,Yale
Univ.Press, London, 1984.
Lincoln Rothschild, To Keep Art Alive, Kenneth Hayes Parker
,Art Alliance Press, Phil., 1974.