by Ariadna Zierold
Irving Norman‘s art evolved out of American Expressionism and though he understood and admired what his contemporaries were accomplishing, Irving followed the song of a different muse. He said at one time: “The path I followed chose me, not me it, I was led to painting by experiencing life, it’s contemplation and a desperate need to give it expression. I find spiritual strength in the artists of the remotest past to the immediate present.”
Although influenced by the Social Realists of his time, Norman’s style of figuration was set apart by a predilection for caricature – a realism inflamed by the fantastic rather than the natural. The horror and futility of war as experienced by the artist in Spain certainly equipped him with an apocalyptic vision. Norman was creating meticulously detailed realistic paintings and making use of “cartoon” aesthetics decades before the advent of Photorealism or the current “low-brow” fad.