“Century of the Common Man,” a series of nineteen silkscreens currently on view as part of the Mary Ryan Gallery’s exhibit Hugo Gellert: Free Radical, embodies the optimism of a pre-war radicalism long since absent from American politics. The piece illustrates select passages from a speech delivered by Vice President Henry Wallace—though the transcript does not accompany the display, we can easily imagine the immediacy and fire with which Wallace must have at least attempted to deliver the speech. Hugo Gellert (1892-1985), a Hungarian immigrant to the US known primarily for his murals and illustrations, used a simple and unyielding mix of bright blue, red, and yellow to mirror the power and peril of his time. Made in 1943, the silkscreens’ colors and compositions suggest urgency even before we examine their content.
Read more Guernica Daily