Scenes of American Labor
100 Years of American Labor in Art
September 1, 2005 through November 9, 2005
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
FROM 5-7 PM
7 East Anapamu Street | Santa Barbara, California
A Few Words About the Exhibit
For years, I have assembled paintings by Americans
of Americans putting this country together. It
has been my own private labor of love. Perhaps it
was watching men and women in the fields of New
Mexico, or thinking of my grandmother in Dunkirk
during the Great Depression working in a shop full
of seamstresses, or working alongside my father as
we built or added to our houses in California. I have
always loved labor: the sweat of it, the motion of it,
the product of it.
When I was younger I could not help but enjoy the
art of Thomas Hart Benton and John Stuart Curry
featuring men and women, like human vortices,
churning raw land, raw iron, raw wood into the
sustenance of life. Who would ever forget the simple
honesty of Grant Woods American Gothic? A fine
friend of mine argues that I am a brainwashed victim
of the American work ethic. Whether it is true or not
does not matter. I love my work. I was a carpenter,
who became a teacher, who became an engineer, who
retired to the profession of dealing in art. I have
loved it all.
For me, one of the greatest moments in American Art
was during the 1930s when Roosevelt championed
the unemployed artists of this country to show
America getting back on its feet. This was the creed
of WPA artists as they featured the swing of the
hammer, the hum of industry, the muscle of human
Labor as a subject matter has never lost its charm
for us. Through every movement, American artists
have found a way to incorporate labors effort. This
Sullivan Goss exhibition documents the American
workers efforts from the late 1800s to today. The
weave of our national fabric is obvious within these
paintings. Polish, Irish, Mexican, African, English
and all the others have left their mark through toil.
Without their effort there is not one skyscraper, not
a cleaned hotel, not food on the table, not a soul to
- Frank Goss
Anders Aldrin Bo Bartlett Robert Clyde Bentley John Bernhardt Colin Campbell Cooper
Ray Cuevas John Davies Alia El-Bermani Pamela Enticknap Jon Francis Richard Haines
Robin Gowen Steve Huston Emil Kosa, Jr. Wayne Lacom Betty Lane Dan Lutz Dan McCleary
Jay Mercado Ben Messick John Nava R. Kenton Nelson Joe Pastor Ben Shahn
Millard Sheets George Washington Smith Jack R. Smith Shiba Ward
Howard Warshaw Bernard Baruch Zakheim Marco Zim