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Indepth Arts News:

"Leon Golub"
2000-11-02 until 2000-12-17
South London Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

In 1954, the American artist Leon Golub (b.1922 Chicago) started painting realistic scenes of power, violence and war. In an age when Abstract Expressionism was at its peak, Golub chose to paint figuratively, portraying individuals personifying society as a whole. By means of paintings of battle, interrogation, torture, abuse and violence, Golub investigated notions of power and powerlessness and examined the human condition through the extremes of inhumanity.

The exhibition at the South London Gallery focuses on Golubs more recent paintings, but includes one very tough work from the interrogation series of the early Eighties and some street life paintings from the late Eighties and early Nineties. The earliest painting on show will be Gigantomachy from 1966. This huge seminal work marks a point when Golub was moving away from the influence of primitive art and Art Brut, at a time when he was putting his political engagement into practice in protest action against the Vietnam War. Based on a classical frieze the canvas depicts naked men engaged in a wrestling match as a universal illustration of violence.

The paintings at the South London Gallery have been specifically selected for exhibition from a larger, highly acclaimed, show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin by the curator of the exhibition, Jon Bird, and David Thorp, Director of the SLG.

Leon Golub
Times Up
1997
acrylic on linen; 93 x 166 inches


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