Haystack | Thomas Hart Benton | 1938

Haystack | Thomas Hart Benton | 1938

Haystack | Thomas Hart Benton | 1938

Benton is born in Missouri, USA and, after a season in Paris, he comes back to his country to continue with his art.

He produces a series of murals that raised controversy, because in them you could see images of the Ku Klux Klan as well as images of slaves suffering by the oppression of their masters.

In 1934, Benton’s work was featured in one of the editions of Time magazine next to the work of other artists like Grant Wood and John Stuart Curry. The edition focused in these 3 painters that were known as the regionalists, which can be compared to the social realists from Europe

These artists devoted themselves to the portrait of rural class in America, which was disappearing thanks to the industrial revolution. They showed the melancholy, desperation but also the beauty of small town life.

At the end of the 30s, Benton produces a series of lithographs signed by him which were sold for the public for USD5. Haystack is one of them. Here we see a rural scene where two peasants gather hay with the fork while other helps them from a horse. The scene has a path in the foreground and, behind, we can see a little shack with a lot of vegetation. Although they are very different, the curved lines and the crowded general composition, makes me think that this painting could be authored by a monochromatic van Gogh.

After the Second World War, the regionalist movement declined at the face of the abstract expressionism.

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~ by Álvaro Mazzino on January 26, 2011.

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