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Movements, Styles, and Tendencies American Regionalism

American Regionalism

American Regionalism Collage

Started: 1928

Ended: 1943

"My early work is the result of going around that very territory where I lived and not seeing it."

Synopsis

At the height of the Great Depression, American Regionalists turned away from European modernism and urban abstraction to embrace subjects of the heartland. These works were figurative and narrative, returning back to an ideal of art-as-storytelling, rendered in precise detail. The American Regionalists celebrated familiar subjects in ways accessible for a general public, making their work popular among a broad range of audiences. Yet, with the rise of totalitarian governments in Europe, who used such realist and figurative art as propaganda, Regionalism came to be seen as politically problematic and retrogressive. It would be soundly rejected in the rise of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s.

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