Art of the 1930's

Lucie-Smith, Author, Edward Lucie-Smith, Author Rizzoli International Publications $37.5 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8478-0609-6
While the world crumbled in the 1930s, Matisse and Bonnard, locked away in separate paradises of their own creation, produced some of the decade's finest art. But others were not so isolated. Picasso's Guernica (whose big mural-like format paralleled the work of Mexicans Orozco and Rivera) focused outrage over the Spanish Civil War. Miro's hellish landscapes were an equally intense reaction to torture in Spain. Many painters and sculptors adoped openly leftist views, yet, as Lucie-Smith shows in a brilliant and groundbreaking study, the political climate of the 1930s had a more direct effect on scores of artists than is now generally acknowledged. Chagall, revolted by Nazi atrocities, turned out pictures on tragic themes whose dire message even he could not wholly accept. Art historian Lucie-Smith, author of some 24 books, here reevaluates Kandinsky, Moore, Epstein, Balthus and many others. He draws intriguing parallels: Mexican muralists are linked to the ""nationalism'' of Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood; Soviet ``socialist realism'' under Stalin is compared to Nazi pseudo-populist art. An illuminating survey that should become a classic. November 11
Reviewed on: 09/01/1985
Release date: 09/01/1985
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