Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Looking at: Grave II

I hope to have some longer form writing here in the future. At the moment I'm head first in the life and work of William Christenberry, a great hero of mine. I just wanted to take a moment and share this wonderful painting, Grave II (1964). It depicts a scene that was often the subject of Bill's little color snapshots, those colorful graveyards so frequently found on Southern backroads.

William Christenberry, Grave II, c. 1964, Oil on canvas.

In The Early Years 1954-1968, Christenberry offers greater context for this piece:

"I was at that graveyard, which I go back to to this day. After all these years I continue to go back to it. And I'm there and one of those late spring monsoon-like rain showers comes up. He went to his car. parked a few feet away, and waited for the shower to pass. "The sun comes out and the landscape is literally steaming. And here is this wreath on a fresh mound of red earth, this fresh grave. This wreath of flowers was made out of crepe paper. That wreath is literally dripping lavender, blue and pink dyes. It is dripping color." 

William Christenberry, New Grave--Havana, Alabama, c. 1978.

William Christenberry, Grave, Windy Day, Stewart, Alabama, c. 1964.

William Christenberry, Untitled (Wreath on Tomb), c. 1977.

All the best,

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