Platt Fine Art Presents:

G. Ralph Smith and Harry Brodsky: Works from the 1930s and 1940s

Opening  Reception:
Friday, September 13, 2002
10am - 8pm

On View at the Gallery:
Sep. 13 - Oct. 13, 2002

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday
10am - 5pm
 

 

    

On September 13, 2002, Platt Fine Art will open Harry Brodsky and G. Ralph Smith: Works from the 1930s  and 1940s, an exhibition which traces the work of these two Philadelphia Regionalists during one of the most depressed eras in American culture through their paintings, prints, watercolors and drawings.

The exhibition consists of over 25 pieces, many of which mirror the difficult social conditions during that period. One such work, a 1938 painting by Brodsky,  recently exhibited at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, shows an African-American stevedore  drinking from a Crisco can as he looks for work. A 1930s lithograph by Smith, entitled of the Soil, in which a lone farmer is seen hand-plowing the land, further illustrates the isolation and desperation for many during that time.

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The 1940s saw both artists moving away from Social Realism and becoming more interested in design and perspective. This shift in the artists' sensibilities is especially evident in some of Brodsky's lithographs,  such as Kensington Rooftops, in which a panoramic view of the working-class neighborhood reveals the geometric pattern of the rooftops below.

Harry Brodsky
Stevedore
oil on canvas, 1938
Exhibited: Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA

In addition to the parallel paths of their creative work, the two artists both collaborated with Theodore Cuno,  an old German lithographer best known as the printer for Joseph Pennell and later, Benton Spruance. Many of Brodsky and Smith's lithographs were pulled at night in the small basement of Cuno's Germantown workshop.

The work created by these two artists was some of the strongest material produced during that era. Amid the hothouse climate of the WPA, and the important and timely exhibitions of the Philadelphia Print Club, Brodsky  and Smith thrived as artists in a time of great social upheaval during the tumultuous days leading up to World War II.

Thus it is with great pleasure that Platt Fine Art is able to re-intruduce the work of these two Eastern Regionalists to a new generation.


Harry Brodsky (American, 1908-1997) won prizes at the Brooklyn Museum and Philadelphia Print Club, and exhibited in annual shows at the Whitney Museum, the American Academy of Fine Arts, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Museum,  and many others. G. Ralph Smith (American, b. 1907) exhibited widely also, showing at the Columbus Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, to name just a few. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and many others.


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Click here to view works by G. Ralph Smith, Harry Brodsky

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G. Ralph Smith and Harry Brodsky: Works from the 1930s and 1940s
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Harold Weston: Paintings and Works on Paper by an American Modernist
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