Abstract

This thesis explores the work of Texan painter Alexandre Hogue, and specifically how his 1930s Erosion Series, paintings of wind-ravaged farms during the Dust Bowl, promotes environmental attitudes long before America had a well developed ecological language. It analyzes the Erosion Series in the context of Hogue's personal land ethics and those of his artistic contemporaries, showing that the 1930s series strives to depict the devastation caused by both drought and aggressive farming practices. A comparison of Hogue's work to Regionalist artists like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood reveals that Regionalists' depictions of land during the 1930s created an unrealistic portrayal of American farms with eternal abundance. In contrast, Hogue's series explores man's relationship to land and shows how that relationship is often destructive rather than constructive. In many ways, Hogue's work is much more in line with works by FSA photographers and filmmakers who, similar to Hogue, imaged more realistic depictions of Midwestern farms at the time. Ultimately, this thesis asserts that paintings, and the fine arts in general, are an important step to a more environmentally minded future—a future Alexandre Hogue sought to promote through nine ecologically charged works.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Comparative Arts and Letters

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2015-03-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd7573

Keywords

Alexandre Hogue, Ecocriticism, Environmental Humanities, Farm Security Administration, Dust Bowl, Regionalism

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