IRVING NORMAN (1906-1989)

 
Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind. Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.  
<br>
<br>The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510.  The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s.   Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst.  There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind.
The Human Condition1980-1981120 x 182 in.(304.8 x 462.28 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
Exhibition
1986 Alternative Museum, New York
2002 Santa Monica College
2006 Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
2007 Pasadena Museum of California Art
2007 Utah State Univ. Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
2007 American University Katzen Museum, Washington, D.C.
Literature
Dark Metropolis: Irving Norman's Social Surrealism, ed. Scott A. Shields and Ray Day (Sacramento and Berkeley: The Crocker Art Museum and Heyday Books, 2006), pg. 199
Irving Norman's masterpiece, "The Human Condition," from 1980, draws upon the artist's lifetime of acquired experiences and knowledge. Surviving as a volunteer fighter during the Spanish Civil War, the artist returned to the United States after the loyalist defeat. Upon his return, fervent studio practice in Half Moon Bay, California, would become his life's devotion.

The present work, a nearly 16-foot-wide triptych, is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," c. 1510. The dystopian vision portrayed in 'The Human Condition" is a warning - a lesson from the European dictatorships Norman experienced firsthand during the 1930s. Disturbing tableaus show the darkness of humanity and the evil that can rise to prominence when humanity is at its worst. There is hope, however, in the experience of the viewer: Norman thought of his audience as the greatest hope for humankind.
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