In Malcolm Morley works the Napoleonic Wars are still raging.
If you want to see the exhibition of this legendary painter the Sperone Westwater Gallery of New York will dedicate him a show till June 9th.
Armed conflict has long been a central theme in works by this artist. He uses children's toys, especially airplanes and warships, as models for elaborate war. Morley culls most of the images in the show from his childhood memories of World War II. For this reason there is sorrow and joy in each of his works.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps with Cannon (2014) features a large canvas that mimics Jacques-Louis David's heroic equestrian portrait commemorating Napoleon's foray into Austria in 1800. As a matter of historical fact, Napoleon actually rode a donkey and lugged a cannon through the mountains, which Morley humorously conveys here with 3-D element.
In Trafalgar-Waterloo (2013), Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington strike poses with their portrait panels separated by a life-size cannon barrel rendered in low-relief.
Morley manages to imbue his poignant war tales with touches of humor, and delivers them with masterful, painterly panache.
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