Pier 94 | Booth 824
The Ronald Feldman Gallery will transform its booth at the Armory Show into a walk-in environment by Leon Golub, an influential American artist of the postwar period who died in 2004. Golub’s art bears prophetic witness to a history of war and oppression, conflict and violence. His images of mercenaries, napalm victims, and white squads are icons in the canon of twentieth century art history.
The installation consists of large photographic transparencies in various shapes that are suspended from the ceiling. Rendered occasionally in color but predominantly in black and white, the transparences are graphic versions of images that Golub reconfigured from his paintings and news photographs. This work links the contemporary secret use of state-sanctioned abuse to that practice which has persisted throughout history. He would have loved WikiLeaks.
In the early ‘90s, Golub explored the potential of this reproduction process to make installations which would provide a participatory experience with his subject matter. His first installation WorldWide was exhibited in the Grand Lobby at the Brooklyn Museum in 1991, followed by several international exhibitions in which he varied the number of the artworks based on space and theme.
The exhibition includes two large paintings, The Arrest (1992) and Two Black Men (1989); a selection of paintings first exhibited in Documenta 11 (2002); and late drawings (2002-2004), that combine scenes of mortality and explicitly erotic images with elements of wry humor and defiance.
Activist, writer, and teacher, Leon Golub was born in Chicago in 1922 and received a BA from the University of Chicago and a BA and MA from The Art Institute of Chicago. Golub’s work has been seen in solo exhibitions throughout the world, most recently at Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Drawing Center in New York. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 1996 recipient of the Hiroshima Art Prize (jointly with Nancy Spero). His longer texts were published in his book Do Paintings Bite? His works have won numerous awards and are included in major museums and public collections. The Feldman Gallery has represented his work since 1996.