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Intelligence America after the Fall

As I wandered along Piccadilly road with the usual rabble of tourists, the weather was positively spring-like. The sky was appearing through the previous weeks of cloud and grey, with its bright brilliant blue. I was positively buoyed by this fecund and fertile atmosphere brought about by the blooming of a new season. With a spring in my step, I entered the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts chomping at the bit to see what Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and Philip Guston had in store.

Now, America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s attempts to examine how artists responded to a period of Urbanisation, systematic industrialisation and economic anxiety. The iconography is full of art-deco themes, which is now forever associated with the 30s. With the success of La La Land and this exhibition, I would hedge a bet that brands will be jumping on the bandwagon and we’ll be seeing a lot more of Art Deco in 2017. The art speaks for itself, it is a brilliant collection of works with so much variety of styles and subject matter. My favourite piece was Gas by Edward Hopper as Hopper conveys his take on ‘Americanness’, with a subtle vibrancy and nuanced imagery. It is a brilliant exhibition, well worth your time and pennies. After the exhibition, it was away from the grey and cloudy themes present in the Sackler wing to twilight outside at 5:50PM. Bring on Summer!

Credit for Thumbnail:
Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930
Oil on beaver board, 78 x 65 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago, friends of American Art Collection, 1930.934

Posted by
Max Siteman