Archive for thomas hart benton

Grant Wood – Happy Birthday!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by echostains

Grant Wood

It’s American Regionalist artist Grant Wood’s birthday today.  As I have already celebrated this artist’s birthday (see this post) and wrote about him at some length, I thought it might be interesting to look at more of the artist’s most famous work – American Gothic.  Grant Wood was born on this day in Anamosa Iowa USA (1891 – 1942) and is famous for painting the American Midwest, along with fellow Regionalist artists Thomas Hart Benton (see this post) and John Steuart Currie.

American Gothic by Grant Wood 1930

Though known as a painter, Wood also worked in ceramics, wood and metal as well as producing lithographs, ink and charcoal drawings.  The Regionalism movement opposed European abstraction and promoted figurative painting in rural American , primarily the Midwest.   Associated American Artists marketed  Woods work for many years and he encouraged John Steuart Currie and Thomas  Hart Benton (see my post about this artist) to return to the Midwest in the 1930, finding teaching positions for them.

American Gothic (1930) is a national icon, it gave Wood recognition.  The painting has been interpreted as a satire against small town American ruralist, though Wood always rejected this interpretation.  He said that the painting, painted during the Depression, depicted the pioneer spirit.  This image  has been parodied, distorted, and borrowed from so many times – and here in this video are many different versions of the painting. Some are innovative, some silly, some thought-provoking and some – well just bizarre 🙂  One can only marvel at Grant Wood for inspiring these though!

To celebrate this birthday I am hosting another Bookstains Poetry Challenge –  you guessed it …..American Gothic what else!  Update;  Three poems have arrived for  the challege – just click the button to see 🙂

American Gothic by Grant Wood 1930

 

More about Grant Wood here and the Grant Wood Gallery here

American Gothic image here Grant Wood photo from here

Thanks to bestjonbon for the video!

Happy Birthday Grant Wood!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2010 by echostains

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Today is the birthday of American artist Grant Wood (b.1891 – 1942 Iowa)   He was one of the triumvirate (three) of the regionalism movement.  This group was formed in the midst of the Great Depression which affected the entire economic world.  The economic decline started about the end of the 1930s and continued until the early 1940s.

Young Corn by Grant Wood

A lot of creative art was undertaken in this period and it is interesting to see how artists dealt with this challenging time through their art and how they channelled that art in different directions.  Wood is particularly famous for his painting ‘American Gothic’ which became a major American icon in the 20th century.

The painting shows a father and his daughter (Wood’s dentist and  sister) standing together against the backdrop of their Carpenter Gothic style home.  The man, who could be a farmer, holds a pitchfork whilst his daughter looks on primly.  The painting has been analysed and parodied many times.  Some said that it criticised small town mentality, but Wood insisted that it showed the American pioneer spirit of the rural town.

Death in the Ridge Road by Grant Wood

Wood started the Stone City Art Colony to help other artist’s through the Depression.  They rejected the city and all it embodied.  They sought through their painting to reassure people in this traumatic time.  Most of their paintings show hope: triumph over adversity.  The other main regionists were Thomas Hart Benton and John Stueart Curry.

Baptism in Kansas by John Steuart Curry

“Paint out of the land, and the people he knows best” (Wood painted what he knew best)

Curry (Kansas) liked to paint the Dustbowls that swept across the Midwest and the survival of the people.

Tornado over Kansas by John Steuart Curry

Hart Benton  (Missouri) tackled issues that directly affected the people like the government and machine versus manual labour.  Regionalism proved very popular reflecting Nationalism.   The paintings were full of hope, and determination.  It is this kind of ‘never say die’ attitude in the face of desperation that people must have found uplifting and reassuring and which I find admirable.

the arts of life in America by Hart Benton

More about Wood’s life HERE

The Great Depression affected the whole economic world.  Read about it HERE

More about American scene painting including Regionalism HERE

PS

Happy Birthday Leonardo and Hart Benton!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , on April 15, 2009 by echostains
st-anne-virgin and child -and-st-john-1498

st-anne-virgin and child -and-st-john-1498

Happy Birthday Leonardo Da Vinci 1452 and Thomas Hart Benton  1889!  Two very different types of artists, seperated by 400 and odd years.  One Italian, the other American.  No one can dispute  Da Vinci’s expert draughtsmanship, nor the cleverness of the man, that some say was born before his time because of his inventive ideas.  BUT, I am not very keen on the way he draws womens bodies.  Did they really have masculine bodies in those days?  I don’t know if this is because he couldn’t get hold of women models and has used men instead, but I find his women tend to look very masculine.  Why is this?  When it comes to mens bodies, well the drawings speak for themselves.

vitruvian-man-leonardo-da-vinci

vitruvian-man-leonardo-da-vinci

The other artist who shares his birthday is American Thomas Hart Benton b. 1889 Missouri America.  He was one of what was known as a ‘Regionalist’ painters, along with John Steuwart Curry and Grant Wood. 

thomas-hart-benton

thomas-hart-benton

His paintings and murals comment mostly about the Midwest and are about ordinary people taking care of business and generally getting on with life’ s hardships.  His style is fluid and influenced by El Greco. 

benton_mural-parks-the-circus-and-the-press

benton_mural-parks-the-circus-and-the-press

Muscles on the working man are exagerated, forms elongated.  The style is very individual and recognisable.  Hart Benton also taught art from 1926 – 1941, Jackson Pollock being one of his more famous students.

benton-the-sources-of-country-music-inc-various-cultural-influences-steamboat-banjo-player-train-fiddler-etc

benton-the-sources-of-country-music-inc-various-cultural-influences-steamboat-banjo-player-train-fiddler-etc

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.

Update 31st December 2009: Has a new Leoanardo painting been found? article HERE

Rubens

Gauguin

Dali

Turner

Van Gogh

Morris

Pollock

Chagall

Kahlo

Modigliani

Degas

Hopper

Duchamp