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Regionalism

Regionalism was a movement that development within the painting of American Realism. Unlike Precisionism, which was geared at technology and industry, the art of Regionalism found its subjects in American history and the life of the rural settlers, as it was mostly found in the Midwest (Kansas, Iowa and Missouri). The most important representatives Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), John Steuart Curry (1897-1946) and Grant Wood (1891-1942) come from just these regions.
Grant Wood's unique style is the result of a working stay in Munich, where he was intensively examining the old German and Flemish masters, their precise line management and ability of detailed observation influenced him greatly. It can also be assumed that Grant Wood studied works of New Objectivity artists (Christian Schad and Franz Radziwill). Among Grant Wood's range of topics are mostly portraits, such as his presumably most famous painting "American Gothic" (1930), as well as agricultural landscapes.
Edward Hopper (1882-1967) and Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) are also often mentioned in the context of Regionalism, however, their activities outlasted the movement's end in the early 1940s. Both artists depicted scenes from everyday life, whereas especially Edward Hopper had a liking for cool and stringently composed café-, gas station- and train station scenes that captured the isolation of people living in big cities, which became the epitome of American Realism.
Realism shows close parallels in terms of style with the Mexican Muralismo, especially the works of Thomas Hart Benton; additionally, artists of both movements also created works for public spaces.


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