Radical Art: Printmaking and the Left in 1930s New York

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University of California Press, Mar 25, 2004 - Art - 341 pages
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"Helen Langa's compelling study of 1930s social viewpoint prints offers a fresh look at the relationship between the decade's visual culture and its social and political bases. The author illuminates the artists' struggles with conflicting demands-how to advocate revolution within a defense of democracy, and how to engage the social world using aesthetic criteria that advocated distance from it. Her engaging account of these contradictions is a major achievement."—Ellen Wiley Todd, author of The "New Woman" Revised: Painting and Gender Politics on Fourteenth Street

"Privileging 1930s prints, and contextualizing their political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions more completely than any previous book on the subject, Helen Langa's Radical Art is a welcome addition to studies of American art during the Great Depression. Her astute analysis of social viewpoint styles and themes is a significant contribution. Historically detailed and persuasively argued, this book will be an indispensable source for students and scholars of twentieth-century American art."—Erika Doss, author of Twentieth-Century American Art

"This beautifully nuanced study reaffirms the primacy of politically engaged printmaking in the 1930s. Langa is attentive to the ways artists invented imagery to address aesthetic dilemmas as well as social ones, with the goal, always, of raising the public's consciousness of labor, gender, and racial inequities. Her research is superb and her sensitivity to a wide range of printmaker's voices, male and female, white and black, is exemplary."—Wanda M. Corn, author of The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935

"Radical Art is a landmark study, both in the history of printmaking and in the history of American art of the thirties. There is no better explicator of the graphic arts of this era and their cultural context than Helen Langa. Her thoroughly researched and compellingly written volume is a major scholarly contribution."—Betsy Fahlman, author of John Ferguson Weir: The Labor of Art

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and Social Viewpoint Prints
Brief Biographies of the Artists 2 25
Selected Bibliography 3 O 5

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About the author (2004)

Helen Langa is Associate Professor of Art History at American University.

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