Wikipedia entry
Honoré Desmond Sharrer (July 12, 1920 – April 17, 2009) was an American artist. She first received public acclaim in 1950 for her painting Tribute to the American Working People, a five-image polyptych conceived in the form of a Renaissance altarpiece, except that its central figure is a factory worker and not a saint. Flanking this central figure are smaller scenes of ordinary people—at a picnic, in a parlor, on a farm and in the schoolroom. Meticulously painted in oil on composition board in a style and color palette reminiscent of the Flemish masters, the finished work is more than six feet long and three feet high and took her five years to complete. It was the subject of a 2007 retrospective at the Smithsonian Institution and is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She first received public notice when her work Workers and Paintings (1943) was included in the legendary 1946 "Fourteen Americans" show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, curated by Dorothy Canning Miller. This show featured a selection of up and coming artists including Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi (sculpture), and Saul Steinberg. The "Fourteen Americans" show at MOMA, while often thought to proclaim the arrival of abstract expressionism did not do so unambiguously since it included those like Sharrer and George Tooker who are not modernists based on the litmus test of abstraction. Sharrer and her painting Man at Fountain were featured in the March 20, 1950 issue of Life Magazine, in a cover story featuring "Nineteen Young American Artists." Unlike many of her New York contemporaries including Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, Sharrer did not take the turn to abstract expressionism and continued to paint in a figurative and academic style, although the content of her work was often mordantly witty. The term Magic Realism applied to other American painters including Paul Cadmus and George Tooker is often used to describe her later work.
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