Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Social) Realism: Jamaica

Albert Huie (1920 - 2010)

Albert Huie (born Falmouth, Trelawny Parish, December 31, 1920 - died Baltimore, Maryland, January 31, 2010) was a Jamaican painter.

Huie moved to Kingston when he was 16 years old; in the 1930s he became part of the "Institute Group" at the Institute of Jamaica, where he received his first formal training, with Koren der Harootian. In the early 1940s he worked as an assistant to Edna Manley while she taught at Kingston's Junior Centre. Further study followed, at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and the Ontario College of Art, before his return to Jamaica. In 1950 he was one of the founding tutors of the Jamaica School of Art and Crafts. Huie exhibited around the United States and Jamaica, and later in his career settled in the United States. On National Heroes Day in 2009 he was honored by the Jamaican Embassy for his contributions to the Jamaican community in and around Washington, D.C.

As a painter, Huie was best known for his landscape and genre work, though he often painted portraits as well. Some of his pieces expressed sociopolitical and nationalist themes, and many of his early paintings related in some way to manual labor. Stylistically, his early work was somewhat naive; his later paintings showed the influence of post-Impressionism, along with elements of art deco and Mexican mural painting. He generally painted in oils, but sometimes used acrylics instead. His paintings hang in the National Gallery of Jamaica, among other collections.

Osmond Watson (1934 - 2005)

Osmond Watson (born June 13, 1934 - died November 15, 2005) was a Jamaican painter and sculptor. Born in Kingston, Watson attended art classes at the Junior Centre of the Institute of Jamaica from 1948 until 1952; from that year until 1958 he attended the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston. He began exhibiting, with some success, in his home country, but decided to go to London in 1962 for further study at St Martin's School of Art; there he remained until 1965, becoming acquainted as well with the collections of the British Museum. His style changed somewhat after his return from England; his mature work was marked by the influence of African art, particularly of the Yoruba people, and cubism. Much of his subject matter was drawn from Jamaican society, including the Junkanoo festival and the Rastafari movement.

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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