Work of Leading American Painter to be Exhibited at Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s Hatton Gallery will open its fall exhibition series Sept. 5 with a show featuring recent work of leading American painter Leon Golub.

The show, titled "While the Crime is Blazing: Paintings and Drawings, 1994-1999," will run Sept. 5-Oct. 13 with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 5 in the Hatton Gallery. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the community. The Hatton Gallery is located in the Visual Arts building on campus and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

For five decades, Golub’s work has focused on political and social violence and the oppression and cruelty humans inflict upon each other. His scenes of assassination, beating, torture, interrogation and war expressed the political, social and cultural issues shaping society. His recent work is of a more personal nature and examines how issues such as media and information saturation, politics, language, aging and death affect the individual.

Golub’s change in content has been matched by a shift in the methods he uses to paint. Golub’s worked and reworked surfaces, characteristic of his earlier efforts, are no longer apparent. His new content has given rise to a sparer treatment of the canvas. Art in America writer Robert Berlind described these paintings as "lean and urgent."

In the exhibition’s catalog, Golub described the transformation in his work: "The representation had a realistic aspect to it, as if I was one of the observers on the scene. Now, I’m trying to deal with the underbelly of things. The underbelly is a soft section of the body, but it is a more hidden section. It is an indistinct area where things are expressed, but often tentatively, and where a good deal of what takes place is barely recognizable but whose effects can be just as terrible."

Golub’s recent work focuses more on the universal aspects of the human condition. He combines images with language to form his messages. Graffiti-like captions found in the paintings read "getting old sucks" or "inevitable fate." He incorporates the timeless themes of Greek myths in some of his paintings, focuses on human failures, frustrations and feelings in others and often examines the inescapable role of pain and death.

Golub earned his bachelor of art degree from the University of Chicago in 1942 and his bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1949-50. He has had more than 60 individual museum exhibitions. His works are owned by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Malmo Konsthall and the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art.

For more information about the exhibition, call the Art Department at (970) 491-6774.