5 Articles by: Billy Anania

Billy Anania is an art critic, editor, and journalist in New York City.

The Ashcan School Painted the American Working Class

In the years before the Great Depression, the “Ashcan” school of painters rejected the cultural norms of the art market. It opted instead for an American realism that took its inspiration from the lives of dock workers, street vendors, and immigrant families in the country’s modernizing cities.

When Detroit Was Revolutionary

In the 1960s and 1970s, when Detroit was home to a vibrant radical Left, photographer Leni Sinclair, cofounder of the White Panther Party and the Detroit Artists Workshop, stood at the center of a local scene where political and cultural ferment merged. We spoke to her about those years of upsurge.

Alice Neel, Painter of the People

The 20th-century American portrait painter Alice Neel was often misunderstood by art critics throughout her career. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new Neel retrospective, “People Come First,” recontextualizes her career as a painter of the human condition whose socialist politics were central to her work.