Ivan Albright's Ida and the "Object Congealed around a Soul"
Art & Art History
This essay considers the impact of World War I on the painter Ivan Albright’s outlook and art by introducing a new perspective that links his immersion in medical science at the front to an expanding consumer culture in 1920s America. Albright attempted to “make statements” and “search for principles” with his art, rejecting what he viewed as a society obsessed by superficial appearance. The artist’s morose, decrepit figures in paintings such as Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida (1929–30) defy the surface gloss of commercial culture by insisting on the body’s imperfect physicality, on its every unseemly wrinkle, mole, and pore.
Lee, Elizabeth. "Ivan Albright's Ida and the "Object Congealed around a Soul."' American Art 29, no. 3 (2015): 104-117.