The Social Realist Soireé

Social Realism—art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern, not to be confused with socialist realism which is instead characterized by the glorified depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the the proletariat, by means of realistic imagery. Social realists draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working class and the poor; social realists are critical of the social structures which maintain these conditions. While the movement’s characteristics vary from nation to nation, it almost always utilizes a form of descriptive or critical realism.

Social Realism is not necessarily a specific style but instead more accurately defined by its subject matter. In spite of this reality it is most often recognized by the muscular/angular representations of workers and laborers that characterize the murals of José Orozco and Diego Rivera.

  • Mabel Dodge Luhan
  • Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas
  • Great Ideas of Western Man Campaign
  • Container Corporation of America
    • Walter Paepke
  • WPA, Federal Art Project