DRAWING FROM LIFE: STEVE MUMFORD IN IRAQ, 2003-2004
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 14, 7-10pm
Drawing from Life: Steve Mumford in Iraq, 2003-2004 was organized collaboratively by Art Museum Director Gregory Wittkopp and Matthew Kolodziej, Assistant Professor of Art at the Myers School of Art, University of Akron, with the assistance of Magdalena Sawon, Postmasters Gallery, New York City.
Inspired by Winslow Homer’s Civil War paintings, Steve Mumford made four trips to Iraq in 2003 and 2004 to chronicle military and civilian life in the U.S.-occupied country. Traveling between Basra, Baghdad, Tikrit, Samarra, Karbala, Kirkuk, Dohuk and Hilla as an embedded journalist credentialed by the on-line magazine Artnet.com, the artist produced hundreds of watercolor and sepia drawings that capture the day-to-day existence of soldiers on the frontline, and Iraqis trying to maintain some semblance of routine activities in the midst of their war-torn country. In August 2003 the artist posted on Artnet.com the first of what would number sixteen installments of the “Baghdad Journal,” a diaristic account of his time in Iraq, the margins of which were illustrated with thumbnails of the drawings and photographs he took of his experiences.
This is a traveling exhibition previously presented at the University Art Galleries, Myers School of Art, University of Akron, (November 1 through December 3, 2004) and Cranbrook Art Museum at Cranbrook Academy of Art, (January 29 through April 3, 2005).