Ralph Fasanella: Images of Optimism
Hardcover Smyth-sewn book, with jacket
128 pages with more than 70 full-color reproductions and photographs
Includes Chronology, Index of Artworks, and Afterword
Written by Leslie Umberger and Marc Fasanella
Size: 10 x 10 in.
Ralph Fasanella was an activist whose megaphone was his paintbrush. His images, filled with symbolism, chronicle life in early 20th-century New York, the American labor movement, the complex bonds of family, and the political injustices and social inequities of his time. His paintings teem with gritty realities and his own hopeful visions for a prosperous working class.
Born in 1914 to Italian immigrant parents, Fasanella was intellectual without formality. Though he never attended art school, he enthusiastically studied the greats, was well read, and was confident in his developed knowledge of painting. “His most accomplished works reveal the perversions and promises of the United States: the history of prejudice, oppression, and wage slavery, and the power of opposition, hope, and the struggle for a more egalitarian society,” writes Marc Fasanella, the artist’s son, in the book. “He painted optimism.”