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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jazz, Ice Cream, Baseball & Ben Shahn

















With the official 'start' date of summer being less than a week from now (our thermometers here in Texas signaled the beginning of summer several weeks ago however...) the timeless work and appropriately themed summer subject matter of Ben Shahn seems like a good place to land today. Ben Shahn was one of the leading Social Realist artists of the 1930s. Social Realism's principal subject matter is primarily figurative. It portrays dramatic or memorable moments in the lives of common poor people. His beautifully stylized drawings and expressive line quality have influenced countless illustrators, fine artists and graphic designers and continue to do so today. He began his career as a fine artist but was often asked to illustrate difficult social subject matter for magazines of his day as well. He also worked as a graphic designer for the Office of War during the Second World War producing propaganda posters. To see his work locally, The Modern in Fort Worth is home to one of his paintings... come to think of it, you could take in some jazz and ice cream in Fort Worth too. KD