SOCIAL ART IN AMERICA: THEN & NOW
ACA GALLERIES hosted the opening reception for SOCIAL ART IN AMERICA: THEN & NOW, a stunning exhibition featuring past masters and current visionaries: James Chapin, William Gropper, George Grosz, Philip Evergood, Robert Gwathmey, Joseph Hirsch, Joe Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine and Raphael Soyer representing the historic tradition; and Sue Coe, Luis Jimenez, John Mellencamp, and Faith Ringgold representing contemporary expressions of Social Art.
The exhibition traces the 1930’s cry for economic justice, through mid-century America’s struggles for civil rights arriving at the present moment, a time when our fragile social compact is still being threatened. Though the artists in the exhibition reflect on their different times and social concerns, they are united in their work, which demonstrates an understanding that the progress of civilization is often paid by the most vulnerable of society. The range and scope of the exhibition is breathtaking especially in the juxtaposition of tremendous sized works like Faith Ringgold’s 72 x 96 inch oil on canvas circa 1967, “American People Series #19: U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating the Advent of Black Power” with the smaller works like the muscular sculpture of Luis Jimenez, whose untimely death in 2006 deprived us of one of America’s most powerfully lyrical Chicano artists, whose work depicted the Hispanic American struggle.
John Mellencamp, known primarily for his award-winning music, is also an artist, who few people realize began his career prior to making music and has continued to paint. “Uniting the Modernist and Realist traditions, Mellencamp’s canvases bristle with anger and power just under the shiny American veneer.” His works often reflect themes from his music, while also presenting working class struggles and tacking serious ideas like his “Twelve Dreams,” a 54 x 60 inch oil on canvas.
This breathtakingly powerfully exhibition is on display for a limed time through June 27, 2014 at ACA GALLERIES, 529 West 20 the Street, 5th Floor in the Chelsea Gallery District. For more information call 212- 206-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: ON TUESDAY MAY 21 A night for celebration with PEACE DEVELOP FUND, HONORING FAITH RINGOLD AND HER COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL JUSTICE, WITH PDF GRANTEES happens at ACA GALLERIES. RSVP email@example.com For more information CALL 415-564-0900
Photos: Patrick Christiano
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Elisa Jimenez, Scott Coppola