Irving Norman created huge paintings and drawings like those shown here for almost 50 years and received almost no exposure from the gallery and museum establishment. His first major museum show was at the deYoung Museum in 1996, 7 years after his death. I saw his work for the first time at this show and was astounded by the fact I had never heard of his work before nor had anyone I have ever spoken to since. This work is without compare in American Art and represents the best socio-political and anti-war art ever made by anyone. Heironymous Bosch is his only equal. The paintings are huge and amazingly detailed often times with jewel-like color. Many of the paintings are simplified iconic compositions with incredibly detailed imagery depicting nearly every alienating problem of modern civilization.This work must be seen in person to be believed. There are fractal states of scale which can only experienced by seeing the work full scale.
He lived near Half Moon Bay the last half of his life. He immigrated from Lithuania to NYC, surviving WWI. The realities of the depression era led him to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War. The horrors he encountered there and through out his life, fueled his passionate visual art making quest to express truth in the hopes that human beings would be able to realign their behavior to more humanistic methods and goals.
If you have never seen his work and you are an artist, I cannot express the importance of seeing this show!
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum, Logan, Utah:
Show Currently at the Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington D.C. from Novemebr 6, 2007 until January 27, 2008.
Also highly recommended is the low stress and quite beautiful and comfy trip to Sacramento from the Bay Area made on the AMTRAK Capitol Train that runs from San Jose to Sacramento with stops in Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and Richmond. The trip will take up a whole Saturday but between the Train Station and the Museum is the Old Sacramento Riverfront Area and a trail along the Sacramento River. Two weekends ago, I biked to the train station and loaded my bike onto one of three bikes racks that are in each traincar, then road to the show in Sacramento and along the River after the show. It was awesome!