American art

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American art During the colonial era, American art reflected the taste of European settlers. In Spanish territories, the main demand was for religious art; while in Dutch and English areas, there was a greater emphasis on portraiture. In the 18th century, America produced its first artists of international standing, John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West. Both spent much of their career in England, where they became leading exponents of history painting. After independence, there was a gradual movement away from European traditions. This was most evident in the field of landscape painting, where artists from the Hudson River School and the Rocky Mountain School recorded the beauty of the wilderness. Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer also celebrated the American way of life, although in a more realistic vein. Realism was the cornerstone of the Ashcan school. In the 20th century, the key event was the Armory Show of 1913, which encouraged the spread of modern art. Alfred Stieglitz was a seminal figure in the development of modern art in the US. Georgia O'Keeffe and Edward Hopper were arguably its two greatest stylists. With the development of abstract expressionism in the 1940s, US artists became the standard-bearers of the avant-garde, a role they have never relinquished. See also luminism; Native North American art

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American art

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American art