William Blake: A Great Battlefield
@ Gallery Victor Armendariz
300 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654
Opening Friday, September 9th, from 5PM - 8PM
On view through Saturday, October 29th
For his second exhibition with Gallery Victor Armendariz, William Blake presents A Great Battlefield, a collection of new paintings depicting US Marines at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
A Great Battlefield, takes its title from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which poetically looks to the battlefield as a site of re-birth. Following the tradition of nineteenth-century American history painting, Blake uses oil and linen to depict US Marines’ reenacting the 1922 Marine Corps at the Gettysburg battlefield.
After the First World War, the Marine Corps hosted summer exercises and reenactments at Civil War battlefields. The largest and most attended of these events was the 1922 Gettysburg event which consisted of an accurate (no tanks, planes..) reenactment of Pickett’s Charge. In the summer of 2020, the United States Marine Corps Historical Company posed for this series of paintings. Blake collapses histories and myths into a contemplative look at our Battlefield.
“William Blake’s paintings in “A Great Battlefield” channel the spirit of Winslow Homer’s war imagery into our own contemporary world. Hardly imitations, and much more than echoes, Blake’s portrayals, muted and grave, prompt us to dwell on the long-ago war that has yet to release its hold on memory and imagination.”
William Blake, Winslow Homer, and the Long Civil War
Pick up your exhibition catalog with images, essays, and an interview about the exhibition at Gallery Victor Armendariz
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