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William GROPPER

The egalitarian nature of the print medium was suited perfectly for artist William Gropper (1897-1977). Born in the Lower East Side tenements of New York City to poor Jewish garment workers, Gropper grasped onto the communist ideals that lifted up the worker and championed the underdog. He began his career as a satirical cartoonist for a number of New York's newspapers, skewering society's ills like greed, prejudice and exploitation. As his reputation grew, he also created fine art prints and paintings that depicted similar thematic concerns as his cartoons. His work was characterized by expressive human figures with strong brushwork and a sense of dramatic immediacy. Gropper's artwork depicted a populist narrative that made the anti-communism U.S. government nervous, landing Gropper on McCarthy's blacklist in 1953. Gropper's career rebounded, however, and he continued to create social-realist prints and paintings until his death in 1977.

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