IRVING NORMAN

The Lithuanian-American artist Irving Norman was a social surrealist who painted large-scale and highly detailed critiques of contemporary life with hopes that viewers would consider the consequences of their actions and change their behavior. Influenced by the dire conditions of the Great Depression, his massive canvases feature armies of clone-like figures behaving in the clockwork manner in which they have been programmed. He moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1934 before helping to defend the Spanish Republic from the fascist Franco dictatorship. He survived the Spanish Civil War and in 1939 settling on Catalina Island off the Southern California coast, where he began drawing and painting from the atrocities he had witnessed. In 1940, he moved to San Francisco and had a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art two years later. He then traveled to Mexico City and saw the murals of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros before moving to New York City to studying at the Art Students League from 1946 to 1947. He returned to San Francisco in the late 1940s. In 1988, fire destroyed his home, studio, artwork, and personal papers.

IRVING NORMAN
The Palace
oil on canvas
90 x 60 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Aspirations
oil on canvas
90 x 54 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Flight
oil on canvas
60 x 74 in.
IRVING NORMAN
The Lawmakers, The Legislators
oil on canvas
90 x 72 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Liberation War Prisoners
oil on canvas
72 x 90 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Mining
oil on canvas
40 x 84 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Monumental
oil on canvas
90 x 64 in.
IRVING NORMAN
To Be Remembered
oil on canvas
90 x 48 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Totem of a Holy Family
oil on canvas
90 x 19 3/4 in.
IRVING NORMAN
Man of Sorrow
oil on canvas
84 x 60 in.
IRVING NORMAN
War Wounded
oil on canvas
70 x 60 in.