Title: The Pink Dismissal Slip
Oil on hardboard
Dimensions: Panel: 28 1/8 × 22 1/16 inches (71.4 × 56 cm)
Gift of Harry N. Abrams
Often associated with the American Social Realists of the 1930s, Philip Evergood's paintings mix expressionistic fantasy, humor, drama, and social criticism. Although he was academically trained, his works combine the simple, natural awkwardness of children's drawings with an adult's awareness of the complicated world around us. Evergood was extremely political and sought social change through his work; he participated in such organizations as the Artists' Committee of Action and the Artists' Union. Described as "humanist" art, many of his paintings deal with the futility of war, the effects of racial prejudice, and the economic struggle of the working classes. They often refer to specific events in the artist's life. He was once beaten severely and jailed after a protest against cuts to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which in 1936 dismissed 1,923 artists and writers from the Federal Arts Project. The Pink Dismissal Slip, painted in 1937, shows an artist receiving notification of his dismissal from the Arts Project. Interestingly, the envelope the figure holds is addressed to "John Doe," making the figure a symbol for all of the artists involved. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.