Style – Grant Wood was an American regionalist. Regionalism is a style that described how artists painted the everday life of rural midwest Americans instead of the New York or urban areas. The regionalists came up around the Great Depression and many artists were looking towards Europe and the big cities for answers to art. Many regionalists ususally made paintings of prosperous farmlands and hardworking farmers, even though it was very different during the Great Depression. Most of Wood’s paintings were of idealistic farms and small town communities. Grant Wood became a regionalists because he was born in a small town in Iowa and grew up as an American farm boy. Other regionalists are John Steuart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, John Rogers Cox, and many others.
Grant Wood, Stone City, Iowa
John Steuart Curry, Rainbow and View of Madison, Wisconsin
Similarities – Both of their paintings are based in a rural town or farm in the midwest. Wood and Curry depict a kind of idealistic or perfect day in the midwest. In both paintings, all of the vegetation is healthy and green. The sun is out and shining and the sky is blue. Everything looks calm and simple. Both paintings don’t have any people in them.
Differences – Wood painted buildings in his painting while Curry painted cattle in his. Curry has a rainbow in the background. Wood painted a view of a small rural town. Curry painted cattle grazing on grass.
Wood’s Painting – http://www.canvaz.com/grant-wood/grant-wood-3.jpg
Curry’s Painting – http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images_143276_519946_johnsteuart-curry.jpg
Philosophy – Grant Wood’s philosophy was to have your surroundings inspire your paintings and not travel to specific places to find inspiration. Wood thought the Great Depression was good for American art because it forced American artists, who didn’t have enought money to make a trip to Europe, to rely on their own tradition. Wood’s philosophy fit with regionalism and other regionalists because Wood and the regionalists painted where they were, in the midwest, and used there surroundings for ideas and inspiration.