Copyright © 2012 Lisa Harbatkin
From the time he first started painting in the mid-1940s, Ralph Fasanella got his message across — whether the subject was working people, unions, the Rosenbergs, or anything else political. His colorful canvases draw you into the stories they tell, and they make you think.
I had a wonderful time seeing 19 of Fasanella’s best-known paintings, and several of his drawings, at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art on a recent trip to Washington D.C., where they’ll be until August 3. The museum web site has a lot of information. (http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2014/fasanella/) After closing in D.C., the exhibit heads for New York City’s American Folk Art Museum from September 2 to November 30, where it will commemorate Fasanella’s Labor Day birthday. The AFL-CIO, meanwhile, is showing still more Fasanella works at its D.C. headquarters through August 1. (http://www.aflcio.org/content/search/?SearchText=fasanella&x=0&y=0). I’m planning to get there on another D.C. trip at the end of July.