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Irving Norman
The Human Condition

$800,000

About

A painting by Irving Norman. "The Human Condition" is a social surrealist painting, oil on canvas executed in a dark palette of grays, browns, and reds by American artist Irving Norman. The work is signed verso, "The Human Condition I. Norman". The Lithuanian-American artist Irving Norman was a social surrealist who painted large-scale and highly detailed critiques of contemporary life with hopes that viewers would consider the consequences of their actions and change their behavior. Influenced by the dire conditions of the Great Depression, his massive canvases feature armies of clone-like figures behaving in the clockwork manner in which they have been programmed. He moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1934 before helping to defend the Spanish Republic from the fascist Franco dictatorship. He survived the Spanish Civil War and in 1939 settling on Catalina Island off the Southern California coast, where he began drawing and painting from the atrocities he had witnessed. In 1940, he moved to San Francisco and had a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art two years later. He then traveled to Mexico City and saw the murals of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros before moving to New York City to studying at the Art Students League from 1946 to 1947. He returned to San Francisco in the late 1940s. In 1988, fire destroyed his home, studio, artwork, and personal papers. Provenance: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento Exhibition: 1986 Alternative Museum, New York 2002 Santa Monica College 2006 Crocker Art Museum 2007 Pasadena Museum of California Art 2007 Utah State University Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art 2007 American University Katzen Museum, Washington, D.C. Literature: Dark Metropolis: Irving Norman's Social Surrealism, ed. Scott A. Shields and Ray Day (Sacramento and Berkeley: The Crocker Art Museum and Heyday Books, 2006), pg. 199

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    Ships From: Palm Desert, CA
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About the Artist

Irving Norman

The Lithuanian-American artist Irving Norman was a social Surrealist who painted large-scale and highly detailed critiques of contemporary life with hopes that viewers would consider the consequences of their actions and change their behavior.

Influenced by the dire conditions of the Great Depression, Norman’s massive canvases feature armies of clone-like figures behaving in the clockwork manner in which they have been programmed. He moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1934 before helping to defend the Spanish Republic from the fascist Franco dictatorship.

Norman survived the Spanish Civil War and in 1939 settled on Catalina Island off the Southern California coast, where he began drawing and painting from the atrocities he had witnessed. In 1940, he moved to San Francisco and had a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art two years later. Norman then traveled to Mexico City and saw the murals of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros before moving to New York City to study at the Art Students League from 1946 to 1947. He returned to San Francisco in the late 1940s. In 1988, fire destroyed Norman’s home, studio, artwork and personal papers.

Find original Irving Norman paintings and prints on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Heather James Fine Art)

About the Seller
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