Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Monday, March 27, 2017

Timken Museum and the San Diego Symphony Team Up for Witness to War

The Timken Museum, San Diego
Witness to War: Callot, Goya, Bellows
On view January 27 - May 28, 2017
Article by Cathy Breslaw
Goya    Disasters of War   No. 39     lithograph     1810-1820 

Witness to War is a selection of more than 100 works of a combination of etchings and iithographs documenting the consequences of war. A selection of works by three artists, Jacques Callot, Goya, and George Bellows, the exhibition spans wars from the 17th to 20th centuries. It covers three different centuries including the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and World War 1 (1914-1918). These artworks portray wars’ suffering, savagery and abuses in a straightforward, honest and sometimes brutal way. There are a series of 18 etchings by French artist  Callot depicting soldiers pillaging and burning their way through towns, country and convents, Francisco de Goya’s series of 80 prints are entitled The Disasters of War and The Tragedies of War. He depicts mutilation, torture, rape and many other atrocities besides – performed, indiscriminately, by French and Spanish alike. German atrocities of war in their invasion in Belgium during World War 1 were graphically depicted by American artist George Bellows. It is fascinating to study and observe the similarities and differences evident in each century’s wars depicted by these three highly acclaimed skilled and knowledgeable artists of their time, each examining war during their respective years.

In a unique collaboration with the San Diego Symphony, Special Project Director Nuvi Mehta choreographed a soundscape for the exhibition using the music of composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Gustav Mahler who produced symphonies influenced by their own experiences with wars’ brutality. The music, though heard in low volume, adds a fascinating dimension to the visual works on the walls, enhancing the emotion and intensity of the works.
Witness to War provides viewers an opportunity to see war through the eyes of Callot, Goya and Bellows who each viewed war through the lens of their own particular time in history.  The beauty of the lithographs and etchings exist in stark contrast to the atrocities they depict, which when closely observed, are quite evident.
This exhibition is on view through May 28th.

Francisco de Goya, Gatesca pantomime (Feline pantomime) 
(Plate 73 from The Disasters of War), ca. 1810,
Published 1863, etching, burin, and burnisher,
Print Collection, University of San Diego

George Bellows (1882-1925)
Base Hospital, Second Stone, 1918
Lithograph, 17 13/16 x 13 3/8 inches
The San Diego Museum of Art
Gift of Michael and Dru Hammer, The Armand Hammer Foundation 2000.111

The Miseries of War (Les Grande Misères et Malheurs de la Guerre), 1633
Eighteen Etchings, each 3 1/3 x 7 1/8 inches
Plate 3 La Bataille (The Battle)
Print Collection, University of San Diego
Gift of Robert and Karen Hoehn, PC1999.31-18

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