A prolific American regionalist and social realist painter, Aaron Bohrod was known nationally in his lifetime and exhibited in galleries all over the country, including at the Association of American Artists, Corcoran Gallery, Hammer Gallery, and the Danenberg Gallery. He received many awards during his lifetime including the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In addition to being such an accomplished painter, Aaron Bohrod was also a printmaker, illustrator and ceramicist.
Aaron Bohrod began his studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduation, he moved to New York City to study at The Art Students League. There he met and befriended several artists, most notably John Sloan, his professor and a member of the Ashcan school. Upon returning to Chicago in 1930 during the Depression, Bohrod took with him a developed style greatly influenced by Sloan’s bustling city scenes. Indeed, Bohrod’s gritty urban realist paintings echo those of the Ashcan school, depicting Chicago’s urban life and cityscapes. From 1942 to 1945 Aaron Bohrod traveled to the South Pacific as an artistic war correspondent, working first for the Army Corps of Engineers and then for Life magazine.
After the war and upon his return to the United States, Bohrod’s creative style evolved dramatically from his experiences abroad. He ceased to paint the cityscapes and social realist scenes that preoccupied his early studio practice and began to focus on still life painting. Tending towards illusionism and fantasy, or “Magic Realism,” these later works employed trompe l’oeil effects, allusions, and many cultural references. Incorporating art historical references, found objects, and faux surfaces, Bohrod developed a meticulous, highly-rendered style. In 1948 Bohrod became the second Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he remained until his retirement in 1973. He became an elected member of the National Academy of Design in 1951.
Works by Aaron Bohrod are represented in many major public collections such as the Ackland Art Museum (NC), Art Institute of Chicago (IL), Hirshhorn Museum (DC), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (PA), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY).