Philip Howard Francis Dixon Evergood (born Howard Blashki, 1901 in New York City – died 1973 in Bridgewater, Connecticut) was an American painter, etcher, lithographer, sculptor, illustrator and writer. He was particularly active during the Depression and World War II era.
He attended different English boarding schools starting in 1909 and was educated mainly at Eton and Cambridge University. In 1921 he decided to study art, left Cambridge, and went to London to study with Tonks at the Slade School.
In 1923 Evergood went back to New York where he studied at the Art Students League of New York for a year. He then returned to Europe, worked at various jobs in Paris, painted independently, and studied at the Académie Julian, both with André Lhote and with Stanley William Hayter; Hayter taught him engraving.
He returned to New York in 1926 and began a career that was marked by the hardships of severe illness, an almost fatal operation, and constant financial trouble.
It was not until the collector Joseph H. Hirshhorn purchased several of his paintings that he could consider his financial troubles over. Evergood worked on WPA art projects from 1934 to 1937 where he painted two murals: The Story of Richmond Hill (1936–37, Public Library branch, Queens, N.Y.) and 'Cotton from Field to Mill (1938, Jackson, Ga.). He taught both music and art as late as 1943, and finally moved to Southbury, Connecticut, in 1952. He was a full member of the Art Students League of New York and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
Evergood is noted for his deliberately awkward drawing and his spontaneous bold lines. His skillfully organized sophisticated compositions are often humorous, frequently fantastic, and sometimes openly symbolic. His color is never conventional but rather evokes an extremely personal mood that reveals the artist as both militantly social and warmly sensuous.
Though he experimented with etching and lithography in the 1920's, he did not begin to devote himself on a large scale to original printmaking until after 1945. At this time he studied printmaking techniques at the New York studio of Stanley William Hayter. During the following twenty-five years he produced many works of art in both lithography and etching.
During the 1950s Evergood departed from his established "Social Realism" style and concentrated on symbolism, both biblical and mythological. A characteristic work of this period in Evergood's life is The New Lazarus, painted in 1954 and presently housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.
He maintained a socially conscious attitude in his art for the remainder of his career, and was in fact considered to be something of a maverick. He was a figurative painter when much of the art world placed greater value on abstraction, and he was a moralist when moralizing was not considered an option for serious painters. His best-known works are gritty, populist images of contemporary life, and are full of vitality and imagination. A blend of reality and fantasy gives his paintings an appealing, cartoonish quality, and his incisiveness as a social critic emboldens his work. His art is founded on contradiction: sophisticated intent is matched by intentionally crude technique, and tawdry overstatement is balanced with delicate lines.
The following is a sample of Evergood oil paintings that have sold at auction. Significant works in oil by the artist tend to be in the five figure range (USD), while less important works are most often represented by sales in the low, mid and high four figure range (USD). Extremely important works of particular renown by this artist can reasonably be expected to break into the six figure range (USD) and are infrequently seen on the open market due to heavy museum consumption of important Evergood works from the 1950's through the 1980's.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1928, 1939-1963, Salons of America, 1934, PAFA, 1934-66 (gold medal 1949, 1958), AIC 1935 (prize), AIC 1946 (prize), WFNY, 1939, La Pintura Comtemporanea Norte America, 1941, WMA, 1942, AV 1942 (prize), American-British Goodwill Art Exhibition, 1944, Pepsi Cola Art Competition, 1944 (winner), Tate Gallery: London 1946, American Art Exhibition: Moscow, 1959, WMAA 1934-66 (Evergood Retrospective- 1967), Gallery Of Modern Art, Hunington, Hartford Museum, 1967, ASL New York, 1967-68, Smithsonian, 1968, The WPA Art Of New York City Exhibit, Parsons School Of Design, 1977 (posthumous)
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