Ashcan Art Essay

318 WordsOct 9, 20142 Pages
Rebecca Zurier et al the author of “Introduction to metropolitan lives” discusses the Ashcan era in New York during the late 19th to early 20th century. She explains how the term Ashcan was not applied to this style of art until after the movement. The Ashcan artists consisted of 6 men whom correlated with each other George Bellows, William Glakens, Robert Henri, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan. These men aimed to create art that focused on the everyday life of a New Yorker. They did not focused on the new architecture of New York at this time period, Instead the target were the people whom resided in New York. The subjects of these works of art focused on “Immigration, advertising and mass communication, popular entertainment, shifting gender roles, the opulent display of high society.”(Zurier et el13) Zurier supports her thesis with examples of artworks seen throughout the book. These Ashcan artists used their art to stress important issues in New York at this time. Zurier mentions the powerful captivating and disturbing emotions these pieces of artwork influenced, “The city was being powerfully shaped by the presence of immigrants, and just as these newcomers consciously and unconsciously were redefining the identity of the city” Jacob Ritz for example, demonstrated the issue of disease and disorder threw his photograph “Knee-pants” (Zurier et el 23) he emphasizes the poor working and living conditions of immigrants in New York. Another example seen was of William Glackens “The crowded city street” this piece of artwork signified the chaotic streets of New York and Social welfare programs. Zurier claims that Ashcan work was “shaped by the tensions of strangers from different social, economic, and ethnic groups trying to find a way to live together.”(Zurier et el 27) Zurier showed strong visual reasoning to support her thesis allowing me to agree with

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