Chicago Needs a Living Daumier

Honoré Daumier was a 19th century French artist who caricatured contemporary French society; its politicians, its bourgeoisie and its social behaviors.  In 21st century Chicago we need Daumier's spirit to live again.  We certainly have enough to mock.

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Honoré Daumier. "Self Portrait." Cast 1956.

Daumier's artistic output was dominated by his printmaking (he produced over 4000 lithographs) but he also was a painter and sculptor.  Working in a journal called La Caricature, Daumier "target[ed] the foibles of the bourgeoisie, the corruption of the law and the incompetence of a blundering government," according to Wikipedia (almost a better entry than the one for Daumier  in Gardner's Art Through the Ages).

It's the last item that I am currently most interested in.  If Paris had Daumier, who will skewer Chicago's corrupt and hopelessly inept politicians in their artwork?  Surely we have just as much fodder, maybe more, than 19th century Paris. This week on the Chicago Art Blog I'm going to be looking at Daumier and his legacy and how, or if, contemporary artists in Chicago are working in this tradition.

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