Murray Dessner, Viet Nam
MediumAcrylic on canvas
Credit LineGift of the artist, 2011
This haunting painting from 1992 is a personal expression of sorrow and horror at the events of the Vietnam War. In grim, uncompromising tones of gray, Dessner depicts characters from well-known media photographs of the My Lai Massacre and the shootings of Kent State University students. Color enters the painting with the American flag and scenes of war.
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Murray was very much against our government's involvement in Viet Nam, but he always felt great sympathy for the soldiers. The angel in the upper section of the painting is from Titian's painting of his own entombment, which had always impressed Murry in Venice. The border depicts fields of poppies with its several interpretations.Linda Dessner