Prints from the Great Depression
September 3 - October 16, 2009
Gregory Orloff (1890-1981) was born in Kiev, Russia, where he started his art education. After moving to the U.S. he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During the Great Depression, Orloff lived in Chicago and worked as an artist for the Works Progress Administration. "I doubt whether I express in my work the spirit of any definite group – religious, political or economic, " Orloff says in the book, Art of Today: Chicago, 1933, "but I feel more interested in the manifestations of life as it is lived by the great mass of mankind than by the select few." This exhibition features more than 60 prints including lithographs, woodcuts, and etchings. While some works, created in the 1920s, are clearly inspired by early modernism, most reflect Orloff’s later fascination with social realism and regional art.
Steel Mills, c. 1930s, Woodcut, 6 ¾ x 4 ½ in., Gift of Harlan and Pamela Berk.
Chicago, 1929, Etching, 4 x 5 in., Gift of Harlan and Pamela Berk.
Untitled (Blind Man), c. 1930s, Woodcut, 7 x 5 in., Gift of Harlan and Pamela Berk.
Untitled (Coal Miner), c. 1930s, Woodcut, 8-1/4 x 5-1/4 in., Gift of Harlan and Pamela Berk.