Posts Tagged ‘social realist’

Artist of the moment…….John Woodrow Wilson



John Woodrow Wilson was an African-American social realist artist. John Woodrow Wilson was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1922. Wilson was inspired to create art because when he visited nearby museums as a teenager he didn’t see anyone that looked like him.

Wilson wanted to show that people of color could also be beautiful and often portrayed people of color in his artwork. As a social realist artist Wilson’s goal was to show racial injustice and to show the dignity and pride of persons of color.

Wilson took art classes at his local boys club where he was mentored by current art students that were attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts located in Boston. After the student’s showed some of Wilson’s fantastic works to the faculty and they were impressed giving Wilson a scholarship immediately.

Wilson went on to earn a B.F.A. from Tufts University. The artist also won awards and fellowships that allowed him to study abroad in Paris, France with modernist Fernand Leger.

The artist taught at the collegiate level at Boston University.

You may have seen John Woodrow Wilson’s most renown work, a bronze sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which is located in Washington D.C. on the capital rotunda. Wilson beat out many other artists for this prestigious commission. The work is the first image in the picture gallery.

The artist was an outstanding and prolific printmaker.

John Woodrow Wilson passed away just a few days ago in late January of 2015. The artist was 92 years old.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Some other artists who worked in a similar style include Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Gwathmey, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White and Jack Levine.

John Woodrow Wilson is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in New York City.


Artist of the moment…….Seymour Fogel


Seymour Fogel was an American painter whose career spanned several movements including Abstract Expressionism and Social Realism. Seymour Fogel was born in New York, New York in the year 1911.

Fogel studied at the Art Student’s League of New York. Fogel also attended the National Academy of Design. He left before graduating saying that he learned how to copy subjects and not how to be a painter.

Fogel served as an apprentice to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Fogel helped in Rivera’s mural at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

After serving as an apprentice the artist went on to receive many mural commissions from the government including the Treasury Department.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Fogel enjoyed experimenting with new mediums and created art using plastic, wax, oils, acrylics, and watercolor.

Fogel passed in 1984.

The artist had a great mind for creating organic shapes.



Artist of the moment…….Edward Burra



Edward Burra was a wonderful British painter who  is often overlooked. Burra is renown for his paintings of very expressive figures. Edward Burra was born in East  Sussex, England in the year 1905. The artist was a painter and draftsman in what I would classify as Social Realism. Though he is British, Burra is perhaps best known for his paintings of the African American Experience in Harlem, New York.

Burra was well schooled attending both the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art.

Burra declined membership in the prestigious Royal Academy of Art.

Edward Burra served as an inspirational artist to previous post Beryl Cook. You can see both paint the figure in a similar manner.

In this clip a brief bio and works by Edward Burra. Burra’s art starts at 1:42 . I think he captures the essence of the 1920s with his renderings of ladies dancing (the Charleston?)

Edward Burra passed away in 1976.

price range information: Works can reach as high $2 million at auction. Watercolor and pencil works start at $20,000.





Artist of the moment……Beatrice Mandelman


Beatrice Mandelman was the wife of the previous post, Louis Ribak. Beatrice Mandalman was a painter in the social realist and abstract genres. Beatrice Mandalman was born in Newark, New Jersey in the year 1912. Mandalman was a painter and printmaker.

Mandelman participated as a mural painter assistant for the W.P.A. from 1938 to 1943.

Mandelman attended many institutions of higher education taking evening classes The School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark before attended the Art Students League of New York. Mandelman also attended Rutgers University. Later in life she would also study with Fernand Leger in Paris, France.

Mandelman and Louis Ribak were married in 1943. The couple would live mainly in Toas, New Mexico as her husband had breathing issues in other climates.

Beatrice Mandelman passed away in 1998.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

What an outstanding husband and wife team of artists! Their abstract style and bright palette were very similar.






Artist of the moment…….Louis Ribak

Louis Ribak was born in Ruzhany, Belarus in the year 1902. Ribak was a painter of landscapes but was a social painter and also an abstract artist.  His family moved to the United States before he was a teenager and settled in New York City.

For his artistic education Ribak attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts and also the Art Student’s League of New York City.

Ribak served for the United States Army in World War 2. It was discovered he had asthma so Ribak was released from the Army and settled down in New Mexico for health reasons.

Louis Ribak passed away in 1979.

Price range information: Ribak worked in oils and gouache. Prices range from $1,000 to $10,000.

His wife was also an artist, her name was Beatrice Mandelman. She will be an upcoming post!


Artist of the moment…….Soyer Family…….Moses Soyer


Here we have another great family of artists, the Soyer family! We start with Moses Soyer…

Moses Soyer was born in Russia in the year 1899. Soyer was one of three boys from this family who went on to lengthy professional art careers. Moses Soyer came to the United States with his family and settled in New York City in the year 1912. His father was a Hebrew scholar.

Soyer is classified with the Social Realist artists, and for good reason, the Depression had a huge impact on the artist. Soyer was part of the WPA project along with his brothers. Moses Soyer used these paintings to push for the changes he wanted to see in America.

For his artistic education Moses Soyer attended Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design.

After the Depression Soyer worked with ballet dancers. These are great paintings that remind me of Edgar Degas.

Moses Soyer passed away in 1974.

In this clip a brief selection of works from Moses Soyer:

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $50,000. Soyer worked in watercolor, graphite, oils, and pastels.

The best thing I like about this artist is his keen sense of design. Many smaller works have three heads or figures each looking a different direction. This gives the work a great sense of life, but his brushwork makes it look as if it were executed with one simple stroke reminiscent of John Singer Sargent.




Artist of the moment…….Reginald Brill

Reginald Brill was born in London, England in the year 1902. When the artist was barely a teenager Brill was working for the City of London and taking classes at Saint Martin’s School of Art during the evening. It was the time of the First World War.

Brill married a fellow artist named Rosalie.

For his artistic education Brill attended the Slade School of Art located in England under scholarship.

Reginald Brill passed away in 1974.

Brill taught at the Blackheath School of Art. Brill also put his knowledge of art into business, producing two books on modernist paintings.

Brill was a great animator of people. The expressions of his people are very easy to interpret and very expressive at the same time. Brill’s work reminds me of the great caricaturist and satire artist the Frenchman Honore Daumier.

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $35,000. Brill worked in watercolor, gouache, oils, ink, and graphite.