(1907, Chicago, IL - 1992, Monona, WI)
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. He returned to his hometown in 1930 and resided there until the move to Wisconsin.
Influenced strongly by the Social Realism, Bohrod painted city people, utilizing a wide array of styles ranging from a tight, detailed manner to one that was more abstract and sketch like. Many of his paintings captured the neighborhood where he grew up on the North Side of Chicago. They convey the loneliness and poverty of the Depression years.
He spent some time in the South Pacific during World War II as a war artist and in Europe on assignments from "Life" magazine and from the U.S. Engineers to record the events of World War II. His completed paintings are in the Pentagon Collection. Following this assignment, he served for one year, 1942 to 1943, as Artist-in-Residence at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
In 1948, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he became a long-time a member of the art faculty and satisfied the inclinations of many artists who leaned towards European-influenced modernism. In this university position, he replaced John Steuart Curry (who passed in 1946) as the Artist-in-residence.
In the late 1940's Bohrod began working with ceramics, which he said influenced him towards surrealism with odd juxtapositions that embraced the style of trompe l'oeil (fool-the-eye). Unlike many surrealists, his work did not have nightmarish undertones - instead, much of his work has a tongue-in-cheek, satirical, and even humorous tones. During this period, his painting became increasingly realistic.
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MOWA -The Museum of Wisconsin Art -