Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sloan, John French

Sun And Wind On The Roof
oil on canvas
60.96 x 50.8 cm
Maier Museum of Art, United States

John French Sloan (1871 - 1951), the son of a traveling salesman, was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Philadelphia and after he finished high school he worked for a booksellers. He studied briefly at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before finding work as an artist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. This was followed by work at the Philadelphia Press, where he produced full-page color pictures based on news stories. In 1902 he moved to New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator. In 1910 he joined the Socialist Party and the following year became art editor of the radical journal, The Masses.

Sloan was one of the founders of the Ashcan school of American art. He was also a member of the group known as The Eight. He is best known for his urban genre scenes and ability to capture the essence of neighborhood life in New York City, often observed through his Chelsea studio window. He has been called "the premier artist of the Ashcan School who painted the inexhaustible energy and life of New York City during the first decades of the twentieth century" and an "early twentieth-century realist painter who embraced the principles of Socialism and placed his artistic talents at the service of those beliefs."