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Hiroshima Day, Art Slide Lecture by Artist Mark Vallen

Artworks clockwise: German Expressionist Felix Nussbaum's 1940 "Self-Portrait with Jewish Pass"; Mark Vallen's 1982 anti-Nuke "There Goes My Career"; German Expressionist Gert Wollheim's 1919 "The Wounded Man"; Atom Bomb survivor Takakura Nobuko's vision of a civilian melting in atomic fire; Vallen's 2001 "I Am Not The Enemy"; Vallen's 2003 "Not Our Children, Not Their Children" (published in the book, Peace Signs).
As part of the continuing exhibit: "Mark Vallen: More than a Witness", the artist will appear at the A Shenere Velt Gallery, Friday August 6th at 8 pm (Hiroshima Day) to present a free slide show and lecture on art in times of
war and censorship.

Friday August 6th., 8 pm
A Shenere Velt Gallery - Workmen's Circle
1525 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Vallen's slide show is an exciting survey that illustrates how visual artists have expressed their opposition to war, from World War I to the current occupation of Iraq. Offering artworks from successful as well as obscure artists, the arresting images presented by Vallen chronicle an unequivocal condemnation of modern warfare. The slide show includes several eye-opening categories: among them, the antimilitarist works of artists living in Germany during the rise of fascism; depictions of the reality of war as documented in paintings created by Japanese Atom Bomb survivors; the reaction of American artists to the Vietnam war; pacifist imagery from the cold war of the 1980's (including some breathtaking punk rock graphics); and contemporary artworks against the conflagration in the Middle East. Vallen's slide show also investigates the militarization of popular culture, from movies to the world of advertising.

The slide show documents recent examples of art censorship. Those instances include: the censorship of Picasso's Guernica mural in the UN just prior to the invasion of Iraq; the physical assaults and death threats against a San Francisco gallery owner for exhibiting an antiwar painting; and the FBI arrests of Art Professor Steve Kurtz and his conceptual Critical Art Ensemble on charges of bio-terrorism. Come early and view Vallen's paintings and drawings. The exhibit runs until the end of August (closing party Aug. 26).

The Exhibition
"More than a Witness" explores the secret histories of Los Angeles' recent past. Known as the advocate of a new social realism, Mark Vallen's thought-provoking artworks confront the public with a myriad of political and social issues that have impacted the people and city of L.A. Vallen has a firm commitment to figurative realism, and he has derived inspiration from the rich heritage of artists who have worked as social critics and documentarians. The retrospective could just as easily be called "A Brief History of the 20th Century" as Vallen has translated earthshaking world events through the unique prism of a native L.A. artist.

With paintings, drawings, and prints, Vallen documented the upheavals and social realities that helped to shape the face of L.A. The topics addressed by the artist range from the Vietnam War to the battlefields of Central America, and the resulting waves of immigration these conflicts engendered. Vallen submerged himself in the city's original 1977 punk rock explosion, and created portraits of the fans and musicians involved. In fact, the name of the retrospective is borrowed from the byline used by Flipside, one of L.A.'s first punk magazines. The artist's brush railed against apartheid and the Cold War of the 1980's, and captured the Rodney King riots of 1991. This solo exhibition will present a chronology of studio works, pieces created as public art, illustrations produced for books and newspapers, and artworks never before shown.

Closing Party
Thursday August. 26th, 6:30 pm
Rare prints by Vallen not included in the exhibition will be made available to collectors. The artist will also be on hand to greet you and answer questions concerning his works. Other surprises will round out the evening (free).

Gallery Hours
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 5 pm
Friday 10 am - 3 pm
Group and guided viewings can be arranged.
The artworks will also be on view during regular events at the Workmen's Circle.

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