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Vietnam Series
Judith Weinshall Liberman
Return to the Vietnam Gallery

Although I was not part of the Vietnam war effort, images from Vietnam, which filled the television screen as well as the magazines and newspapers of the time, moved me to focus my artwork during the early 1970s entirely on the Vietnam war. In about a dozen large oil paintings, I explored various aspects of the war, especially its personal impact on those directly affected: the casualties and the grieving women left to mourn. The composition in each of these paintings relied on a repetition of images. This repetition was designed to underscore that what was happening in the Vietnam war happened repeatedly and relentlessly. As in all my work, the colors used in the Vietnam paintings are expressive rather than realistic.

The themes of some of these paintings - expressing empathy for the victims of war and for the grieving women left behind - are also expressed in a handful of smaller paintings, such as 'IN COLD BLOOD", "WOMEN IN WAR" and "TWO WOMEN IN BLUE". One of the large Vietnam paintings, which is entitled "SOLDIER" and portrays a wounded soldier with a bandaged head, became the basis for two collages, "PARADE" and "AMERICAN FLAG". In both collages I used black-and-white reproductions of images from my original painting, creating a parade of wounded soldiers in one work and the stars and stripes of the American flag in the other. The monochromatic nature of these collages echoes the imagery of the mass media during the period of the Vietnam war as well as the struggle between life and death.