If you’re a wage slave toiling as a receptionist, a barista, or even an office drone in a hive collective, you’ve probably never been immortalized in a contemporary artwork.
But back when industry ruled, workers were a popular subject of artists, who often captured people at their daily jobs to convey a notion of progress and how their workplace efforts were contributing to uplifting the quality of life for all of us.
Although the image of the worker fell out of favor in the late 20th Century, the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) hasn’t forgotten. Its collection, containing artworks from 1885 to 1945, boasts innumerable depictions of the laborers and farmers who created the products that made life simpler and who were once icons of class consciousness and national character.
At the Wolf, artist Esther Shalev-Gerz researched the museum’s holdings and its depictions of work and working figures from the 19th through the mid-20th Century for... More >>>