Thursday, September 23, 2010

War Through the Eyes of Artists

National Constitution Center exhibition shows war through the eyes of artists

CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer "Marines Call It That 2,000 Yard Stare," by Tom Lea, hangs at left as a visitor walks through the exhibition. "I painted my way through the war," said New Hope's Paul Rickert, whose work from Vietnam is on display. {click on photo to see five pictures slide show}

Sep. 23, 2010 - Working in oil and watercolor, New Hope artist Paul Rickert paints luminous scenes of the Maine coast and moody streetscapes of Chestnut Hill, where he once lived. He is fascinated by the mysteries of fog and hidden narratives beneath "the subtle drone of ordinary life."

But 44 years ago, when he was 19, Rickert's subject matter was altogether different - soldiers under fire rushing for a chopper, a soldier helping evacuate a wounded comrade, a soldier on a gurney linked to life by an IV line.

Rickert was a combat artist in Vietnam, one of dozens assigned by the Army to create a visual record of that long, inglorious war. His paintings and drawings are among more than 250 works of art in a magnificent new exhibition at the National Constitution Center, "Art of the American Soldier," opening Friday and continuing through Jan. 11. {read rest}

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