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Phillip Howard (Blashki) Evergood

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Phillip Howard (Blashki) Evergood
Social surreal genre and abstraction painting.
American, (1901–1973)
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Born in New York City with the name Philip Blashki, he became, with the name Philip Evergood, one of the leading modernists of the 20th Century with styles combining abstraction and realism and subjects in the 1930s that made him one of the leading social realists in New York City.

He was raised in London, England where he moved in 1909 with his parents until 1923. He studied at Eton and Cambridge University and then at the Slade School with Henry Tonks and Havard Thomas. Returning to New York, he was a student of George Luks and William von Schlegell at the Art Students League.

From 1924 to 1926, he traveled in Europe and studied in Paris at the Academie Julian and again lived abroad from 1929 to 1931. He was especially influenced by the Spanish artist El Greco. During the 1930s, he was a muralist for the W.P.A. in the Federal Art Project, and his mural work includes The Story of Richmond Hill for the library in that part of New York City, and another work, Cotton from Field to Mill for the Post Office in Jackson, Georgia.

Politically active, he served as President of the New York Artists Union. He also taught at various institutions in the 1940s, and in 1952 moved to Southbury, Connecticut and two years later to Bridgeport until his death.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Evergood focused on many Biblical themes with a distorted style reflective of both Cezanne and El Greco in that his figures seemed to be in fanciful worlds or "imagined space". (Baigell) By 1935, he did American Scene painting with politically and social-message works whose themes were the unhappiness of people caught in the Depression. In 1937, his painting, Art on the Beach, which was part of his solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Melbourne, caused a riot led by some academics who were furious about the paintings modernist style. Sir John Longstaff, Australian artist, went to the defense of Evergood, and helped raise money for the subsequent gift of the painting to Melbourne's National Gallery. In the 1940s, Evergood distanced himself from political and social issues to figures that were more fanciful and free seeming.

Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
"Art", Life Magazine, October 4, 1937, p. 126

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