Breon O'Casey

1928 - 2011

Artist biography

Breon O'Casey was a visual artist. Breon O'Casey was born in 1928 and died in 2011. Artists born in the same year and of the same generation are Edgardo Coghlan, Henri Paul Derycke, Antonio Ferreira Oliveira Guimarães, Joann Greenberg, and Elaine Duillo.

Further Biographical Context for Breon O'Casey

Breon O'Casey was born in 1928 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1930s growing up. Globally this period can be best characterised by the conflict between the world’s predominant political philosophies - Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government required urgent funds to implement the rapid industrialisation demanded by the first Five Year Plan. It initiated a secret proposal to sell off treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), including a preliminary list of two hundred and fifty rare paintings by the Old Masters, many of which found their way to the collection of Andrew Mellon via the New York based art dealing company, Knoedler. In the United States, the Great Depression had a great impact on artistic production, with many artists taking inspiration from the agrarian and the modest man in the streets. It was the first time in US history that widespread movements of artists began to address politics, and endeavoured to use their art to impact society. Artists organized exhibitions on social and political themes such as poverty, lack of affordable housing, anti-lynching, anti-fascism, and workers' strikes. In Europe, Surrealism continued to be the leading artistic trend; a kind of expression and school of thought that by this time had spread across the globe. In Mexico, artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera incorporated many of these philosophies into their radical political ideologies to develop a innovative kind of magic realism. The era took a sinister turn with the dawn of National Socialism in Germany, and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. The decade would conclude in the inset on the Second World War; a political and social furore that preoccupied not only artists, but large swathes of the world’s population.

Breon O'Casey

  • Exhibitions 2

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