American Art Influence

1701 Words7 Pages
American art encompasses the innovation and ingenuity of American culture. American art is a melting pot of European ideas and forms. American artists, after 1860, broke away from the influences of European art and produced something purely American in values, style, and subject matter. The Civil War, the Great Depression, the Harlem Renaissance, and World War I and II were the main events that lead new artists into prominence and changed the way art was created and viewed. American artists and American movements inspired other American artists and movements. Academic painting, the Ashcan School, the Stieglitz Circle, the Harlem Renaissance, American Scene, and Pop Art are jus a few movements and groups of artists that influenced and transformed…show more content…
The Civil War thrust several artists into high status and changed the attitudes of such artists. Lewis says that American values changed; the cultural mood of the Post-Civil War had no patience for judging a sentiment-less artwork. There were larger issues at hand: Abolition, secession, and emancipation; new styles of art were trivial in comparison. Realist subjects were still-lifes, portraiture, landscape, and genre painting. Winslow Homer was an artist who made illustrations of battles and soldiers during the Civil War. After the war, Homer brought a new realism to genre painting producing energetic images of rural America. American realists limited themselves to create paintings and drawings of precise imitation meaning the painted exactly what they saw. Realists also chose rural life as their main subjects. Homer’s “Snap the Whip” (1872) is characteristic of his realist work. In this painting, Homer illustrated the innocence and the promise of America’s future; it reflected the challenges of…show more content…
Their style was realistic and sketch-like with subjects of urban grit and vigor. They injected realism into American art by taking ordinary people as the subject. “The Eight” consisted of Robert Henri, George Bellows, John Sloan, Luks, and others, and considered themselves artist-journalists. They were condemned by the public for only painting low-life subjects, but later praised for being the first uniquely American art. John Sloan started as a newspaper sketch-artist and continued his stylistic technique in his paintings. Lewis writes that Sloan was the most committed to painting the unforgiving energy of urban life, painting subjects like ferryboats, storefronts, and tenement rooftops. One such artwork is “Haymarket” (1907). It’s a recorded scene in a straightforward but dramatic fashion. Lewis describes Sloan’s brushstrokes as broad and slapdash, capturing the commotion and liveliness of city life. George Bellows a fellow Ashcan painter painted the vigor of sports. In class we discussed his painting “Stag at Sharkey’s” (1909) which shows the dynamic energy of the event and the Ashcan style. At the same time as the Ashcan painters, another group of American artists also championed casting off
Open Document