Aaron Bohrod (1907 - 1992)
Abandoned Coal Mine, n.d.
Gouache on paper
13 3/4 x 19 inches (sight)
Signed at lower left: Aaron Bohrod
Galleries Maurice Sternberg, Chicago, Illinois (label verso)
Aaron Bohrod spent his early career in Chicago where he was born on the West Side. He was known for a range of work in watercolor and gouache that included realist figures in cityscapes, landscapes, surrealism, and trompe l’oeil painting.
In the late 1920’s, Bohrod studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and then went to New York City to attend the Art Students League from 1930 to 1932. It was at the Art Students League that he studied under the man believed to be his most significant early influence, John Sloan. Sloan’s romantic realism is reflected in the many depictions of Chicago life, which comprised most of Bohrod’s early work.
Influenced by the Social Realism of Sloan, Bohrod painted city people, utilizing a number of styles ranging from a tight, detailed manner to one that was more abstract and sketch like. Under Sloan’s tutelage, Bohrod came to subscribe to the belief that painters should find the subjects of their art in the immediate world around them. Many of his works conveyed the loneliness and poverty of the Depression years.
In 1936, Bohrod won the Guggenheim Fellowship award in creative painting. It enabled him to travel the United States, producing regionalist paintings with a much broader range of subjects. Nevertheless, most of his early work centered on Chicago and the urban Midwest.
In 1943, Bohrod was commissioned by editors of Life magazine to cover the battlefronts as a war correspondent and artist. Three years later, Bohrod was invited to become the Artist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin, a position that became vacant with the unexpected death of John Steuart Curry. He would remain at the University from 1948 until his retirement in 1973.
Bohrod died in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1992.