Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(Social) Realism: Australia

George Washington Thomas Lambert ARA (1873 – 1930)

George Washington Thomas Lambert ARA (13 September 1873 – 29 May 1930) was an Australian artist, known principally for portrait paintings and as a war artist during the First World War.

Herbert McClintock (1906 - 1985)

Herbert McClintock was a social realist Artist born in Perth, Western Australia in 1906, died 1985. Studied at the National Gallery of Victoria School from 1925 to 1927 and again in 1930, where he met fellow social realists Noel Counihan and Roy Dalgarno. Earned a living as a signwriter and advertising artist while a student. He joined the Communist Party of Australia during the depression of the 1930s and did many political cartoons for communist publications. His cartoons were featured in trade union and communist papers throughout his life.

Herbert McClintock Sydney Graving Dock

Herbert McClintock Sections of buoyancy tank and floating caissons, Sydney graving dock

Noel Counihan (1913 - 1986)
Noel Counihan (October 4, 1913 - July 5, 1986) was an Australian social realist painter.
Counihan was born in Albert Park, then a working-class suburb of Melbourne. He attended Caulfield Grammar School in 1928. He studied part-time under Charles Wheeler at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School in Melbourne during 1930-31, where he met the social realists Herbert McClintock and Roy Dalgarno. Social realism, the belief that art should reflect the realities of society under capitalism, was the artistic doctrine of the Communist Party of Australia, and in 1931 Counihan became a confirmed atheist and a member of the Party. He helped found the Workers Art Guild, and began printmaking, producing linocuts and lithographs for Communist magazine covers and pamphlets as well as designing banners.

Noel Counihan In the lobby Parliament House1956

Noel Counihan A moulder holding a metal pourer1948

Noel Counihan Old woman Opoul 1981

Noel Counihan Woman and soldier (Pick up)

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

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