Punition de la Sagesse
12 x 25 x 9 in
stoneware, underglaze, luster, pewter, found object
France was the first nation to adopt camouflage in a big way. Picasso and Braque witnessed an early display of French military camouflage during the first World War. Gertrude Stein recorded Picasso’s famous reaction: “We did that. That is cubism.”
In 1917, American visual artists were mobilized to develop techniques to conceal men and material from the enemy. Visual Arts departments and the military seem like strange bedfellows but over the following decades, the military put artist-draftees to work painting camouflage. The roster of camouflage painters came to include Franz Marc, Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Arshile Gorky, and Ellsworth Kelly.
In this series, I felt compelled to explore ideology, militarism, and the inevitable social connotations of camouflaging the work.
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