William H. Johnson
From Wikipedia: William Henry Johnson (March 18, 1901 – April 13, 1970) was an American painter. Born in Florence, South Carolina, he became a student at the National Academy of Design in New York City, working with Charles Webster Hawthorne. He later lived and worked in France, where he was exposed to modernism. After Johnson married Danish textile artist Holcha Krake, the couple lived for some time in Scandinavia. There he was influenced by the strong folk art tradition. The couple moved to the United States in 1938. Johnson eventually found work as a teacher at the Harlem Community Art Center, through the Federal Art Project.
Johnson’s style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style, for which he is best known. A substantial collection of his paintings, watercolors, and prints is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has organized and circulated major exhibitions of his works.
I love his work–it is a unique vision but one that lets me in as the viewer. This was painted after the death of his wife, speaking to personal suffering. Today it seems to speak to the communal. This painting is in the Smithsonian. I saw a group of his works two summers ago at the art museum in Delaware.