Dark Metropolis: Irving Norman’s Social Surrealism

“To tell the truth of our time.”

Unmasking the realities of human nature and the contemporary society in which we live, Irving Norman aimed only “to tell the truth of our time.”

Norman’s massive canvases abound with teeming figures, drone-like and mechanical in their repetition, yet stubbornly and hauntingly human. The combination of jewel-tone colors, transcendent messages, and technical virtuosity make his work unique in the history of American art.

Dark Metropolis, a book of compelling vision, is being produced in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to accompany an ambitious retrospective of the art of this important painter.

About the Editors

For twenty-two years, Ray Day has been involved in documentary film productions for television. He graduated in 1979 with an MFA from the University of South Florida.
Scott A. Shields is the chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. He has written numerous scholarly articles on modern and contemporary art and is the editor of San Francisco and the Second Wave: The Blair Collection of Bay Area Abstract Expressionism and the author of Artists at Continent’s End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875­­–1907