Two issues of this anti-abstraction, pro-realism art journal, founded in 1953 by a group of artists united in their desire to combat the alleged "obscurity and snobbery" taking hold among critics, curators, and young artists. Their formal Statement declares that "texture and accident, like color, design, and all the other elements of painting, are only the means to a larger end, which is the depiction of man and his world."
Their arguments, both philosophical and aesthetic, build on an appeal to democracy and the fervent belief that an art world that develops its own language and values necessarily becomes exclusionary, elitist, and makes art "the property of an esoteric cult." Despite the strong thread of deeply conservative, sometimes reactionary rhetoric, many members were motivated by their belief in art by and for the working classes, and by their principled opposition to an art world establishment seemingly seeking to bewilder and exclude the public.
Notable group members included Isabel Bishop, Raphael Soyer, Milton Avery, Robert Gwathney, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine, Anton Refregier, and Leon Kroll; the second issue includes brief statements from Oskar Kokoschka and Marcel Gimond. (Inventory #: 24097)