Monograffi Fine Art Galleries
~  The Magic Zone - American Magic Realism  ~

          Alfred H. Barr Jr., Director of the Museum of Modern Art, played an important role in defining Magic Realism in American art. In the late 1920s Barr introduced the term Precisionist to describe the early works of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth. In the late 1920s he wrote extensively to Gustav Hartlaub about Neue Sachlichkeit and German art. In the early 1930s Barr and his wife lived in Stuttgart, Germany, and witnessed first-hand the closure of museums and takeover by the Nazis. In 1936 he curated the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada , Surrealism at MoMA. Barr observed parallels between Neue Sachlichkeit and developments in American Scene painting. He also noted that there was a broad trend across the country in the creation of a new type of special art, an American response to Surrealism.

           In 1943 Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Dorothy C. Miller curated the exhibition American Realists and Magic Realists at MoMA. He defined Magic Realism as "the work of painters who by means of an exact realistic technique try to make plausible and convincing their improbable, dreamlike or fantastic visions". Influenced by both Precisionism and Surrealism, and grounded in the traditions of American Realism, many paintings of the 1930s and 40s were created outside the parameters of Regionalism or Social Realism. These paintings occupy a special niche. Most were painted by relatively unknown painters. They exhibit a timeless quality, born in the imagination.


 The Red Ventilator (1945)
by Arthur Osver


Landscape in Perspective (1934)
by Harold Lehman


Clara Carter (1931)
by Clarence Holbrook Carter




  Woman with Negro Sculpture (c1929) by Audrey Buller


Bread and Honey (1948)
by Audrey Buller


Black Panther (1934)
by Alice Dinneen





The Picnic
by Zama Vanessa Helder


Pettit Mansion (1942)
by Zama Vanessa Helder




Memory of the Charles River (1936)
by O Louis Gugliemi


East River (1934)
by Jara Henry Valenta




De Profundis (1947)
by William S. Schwartz


September 27 1943 (1943)
by John Atherton




Ashokan Dam (1934)
by Arnold Wiltz


 De Profundis (1947)
by William S. Schwartz




Corn Dance, Taos (1937)
by Edward Laning


Hooversille (1933)
by John Langley Howard




Engine House and Bunkers (1934) by Austin Mecklem


The White Factory (1928)
by Katherine Schmidt




This Was the Place (1946) by Karl Fortess




Carosel by Clarence Holbrook Carter




Rain on the Prairie (c1949) by Peter Hurd