EVERGOOD, Philip

Creator

EVERGOOD, Philip
b. United States, 1901 - 1989
Evergood was born in New York, but grew up in England and graduated from Eton in 1919. He had been studying abroad when he returned to the United States during the Great Depression. He took odd jobs and hired on with the Works Progress Administration, earning a small salary that allowed him to support his family. In the 1920s and 1930s, he experimented with etching and lithography, focusing mainly on Biblical themes, and often utilizing a distorted style reflective of both Cezanne and El Greco in that his figures seemed to be in fanciful worlds or imagined space. Like many artists of the 1930s, Evergood was sympathetic to the plight of workers. His participation in strikes and protests often landed him in jail, and he believed that art was a weapon and a means for social change. By 1935, he did American Scene painting with politically and socially-charged message works whose themes were the unhappiness of people caught in the Depression. His best-known works are gritty, populist images of contemporary life, and are full of vitality and imagination. A blend of reality and fantasy gives his paintings an appealing, cartoonish quality, and his incisiveness as a social critic emboldens his work. His art is founded on contradiction: sophisticated intent is matched by intentionally crude technique, and tawdry overstatement is balanced with delicate lines. Though he experimented with etching and lithography in the 1920s, he did not begin to devote himself on a large scale to original printmaking until after 1945. At this time he studied printmaking techniques at the New York studio of Stanley William Hayter. During the following twenty-five years he produced many works of art in both lithography and etching. He maintained a socially conscious attitude in his art for the remainder of his career, and was in fact considered to be something of a maverick. He was a figurative painter when much of the art world placed greater value on abstraction, and he was a moralist when moralizing was not considered an option for serious painters. During the 1950s Evergood departed from his established "Social Realism" style and concentrated more on symbolism, both biblical and mythological.

Citation

EVERGOOD, Philip, b. United States, 1901 - 1989, and Evergood was born in New York, but grew up in England and graduated from Eton in 1919. He had been studying abroad when he returned to the United States during the Great Depression. He took odd jobs and hired on with the Works Progress Administration, earning a small salary that allowed him to support his family. In the 1920s and 1930s, he experimented with etching and lithography, focusing mainly on Biblical themes, and often utilizing a distorted style reflective of both Cezanne and El Greco in that his figures seemed to be in fanciful worlds or imagined space. Like many artists of the 1930s, Evergood was sympathetic to the plight of workers. His participation in strikes and protests often landed him in jail, and he believed that art was a weapon and a means for social change. By 1935, he did American Scene painting with politically and socially-charged message works whose themes were the unhappiness of people caught in the Depression. His best-known works are gritty, populist images of contemporary life, and are full of vitality and imagination. A blend of reality and fantasy gives his paintings an appealing, cartoonish quality, and his incisiveness as a social critic emboldens his work. His art is founded on contradiction: sophisticated intent is matched by intentionally crude technique, and tawdry overstatement is balanced with delicate lines. Though he experimented with etching and lithography in the 1920s, he did not begin to devote himself on a large scale to original printmaking until after 1945. At this time he studied printmaking techniques at the New York studio of Stanley William Hayter. During the following twenty-five years he produced many works of art in both lithography and etching. He maintained a socially conscious attitude in his art for the remainder of his career, and was in fact considered to be something of a maverick. He was a figurative painter when much of the art world placed greater value on abstraction, and he was a moralist when moralizing was not considered an option for serious painters. During the 1950s Evergood departed from his established "Social Realism" style and concentrated more on symbolism, both biblical and mythological., “EVERGOOD, Philip,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/3208.