social realism

social realism
   or Social Realism
   A type of realism which is more overtly political in content, critical of society, marked by its realistic depiction of social problems. Paintings by Jean François Millet (French, 1814-75), a painter associated with the Barbizon school, such as The Gleaners (1857, Louvre), is considered an early example of social realism. The greatest impact of this art movement was felt in the first half of the twentieth century, however. Mexican muralists Diego Rivera (1886-1957), José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), and David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) strongly influenced many North American social realist and New Deal artists. Some of these northern artists emerged from the Ashcan school, while others, like Ben Shahn (American, 1898-1969), evolved separately. Be careful not to confuse social realism with socialist realism.

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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