Baghdad and Beyond: Drawings by Steve Mumford
September 8—November 19 , 2006 Koppelman Gallery
During four trips to Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and with journalistic credentials from the website artnet.com, Steve Mumford traveled with army units to Baghdad and seven other cities in Iraq, producing drawings and written accounts that were posted on the site. “Baghdad Journal” is now also in book form, published by Drawn & Quarterly in 2005. In 2006, Mumford spent three days at Brooke Army Medical Center drawing portraits of disabled Iraqi War veterans. These drawings are featured in the July issue of Harper’s Magazine.
A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with a BFA in 1986 (he completed their Fifth-Year Certificate Program in 1987 and has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York), and a Boston native, Mumford revives a great tradition of combat art characterized by Winslow Homer’s Civil War paintings. The instantaneous and documentary nature of photo-journalism that defines most of our visuals of Iraq is replaced by lingering lapses of time that expressively capture mood and atmosphere more than precise events. Mumford strives to maintain a camera-like objectivity about the politics of the war while providing an artist’s humanistic view of the individuals engaged in that war.
The Tufts University Art Gallery exhibition will feature 41 watercolor and sepia drawings from the “Baghdad Journal” series and 8 watercolors from Mumford’s trip to Brooke Army Medical Center. These will be exhibited for the first time together and for the first time in Boston.
The Artist's Talk is co-sponsored by the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Citizenship and Public Service; the Institute for Global Leadership; and the Tufts University Office of Alumni Relations.
Image: Kids in Zafariniya, Baghdad, Oct, 2004, scramble for candy tossed by soldiers from the Washington National Guard. This was a regular ritual on every patrol in this sector, anticipated by the kids, and tolerated by their parents, watercolor, 11 x 15", courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY