Above: Government photograph selected by Ben Shahn
of an unnamed mother mourning her son, killed at Bataan, in a cemetary in New Mexico, with accompanying text by Charles Olson.
This first release of FSA-OWI photographs also includes work by Ben Shahn
, Gordon Parks, Marion Post Wolcott, Carl Mydans, John Vachon, Jack Delano, John Collier, and others.
The critical judgements that are made tend to be obvious - that a muted background will accentuate the subject, or that the painter uses |soft, lyrical color to evoke subtle emotion', or that in Miners' Wives Ben Shahn
uses space 'to create psychological effects'.
Throughout his life, Ben Shahn
paid close attention to the human heart; for those who know his art, the heart beats a little steadier.
completed his painting Miners' Wives, a work reflecting the artist's lifelong concern with social injustice.
Maxwell Anderson's plays Gods of the Lightning (1928) and Winterset (1935) were based on the case, and Ben Shahn
created a series of paintings that were published under the title The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti (1961).
Set to an evocative jazz score by Robert Prince and abstract urban backdrops by Ben Shahn
, the dance told the story of disaffected urban youth through movement that blended ballet, jazz and ballroom dancing with Latin, African and American rhythms to create a powerfully expressive, sexy and contemporary style.
Artists who used facial exaggeration for political effect include Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Thomas Nast (1840-1902) and Ben Shahn
UNIVERSITY GALLERIES IN BEN SHAHN
CENTER, WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY OF NJ
He additionally interprets transforming events that shaped the artist's life including De Staebler's summer at Black Mountain College studying with Ben Shahn
and Robert Motherwell; and the unexpected death of his mother in a plane crash.
Among the artists: Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Frans Kline, Mark Rothko, William de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Ben Shahn
, and Judith Shahn, to name just a few.
The ambiguity has no upside for Jacklin, who avoids a confrontational mood, sacrificing the poignancy of Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" of 1936, or Walker Evans, Ben Shahn
, or Robert Frank.