July 14 – August 4, 2012
Re:View Gallery is pleased to present “WAR PAINT,” Niagara’s first solo exhibit in her hometown Detroit in over eight years. In WAR PAINT, Niagara, co-founder of the seminal proto-punk art collective Destroy All Monsters, explores the roles of women during wartime, specifically World War II, using her trademark comic panel narrative style with a unique mixture of color, attitude and wit.
Heavily influenced by her interest in war history and the leadership and charisma that entail this delicate dynamic of morality and destruction, the focus of this new body of work is not too far from Niagara’s previous mercenary femme fatales and beautiful miscreants whose femininity has never been an obstacle in wreaking havoc upon their enemies. The subjects in the current works are still speaking of power, beauty and violence, but this time in the “morally acceptable” theater of war.
In WAR PAINT, Niagara also uses the war theme to make more subtle and personal references to our current state of affairs, as the world community struggles economically, politically and socially in various conflicts that question our behaviors and the future of our society. In the creation of this new body of work, her aesthetic references go back mostly to World War II. To recreate the “classic” war look, the artist delved into every detail of that war’s symbols, uniforms, and read over 20 books related to the events and people of that time, layering the works with historic nuances awaiting to be discovered as the viewer experiences each piece.
WAR PAINT is also Niagara’s first exhibit after Destroy All Monsters’ retrospective, “Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters, 1973-1977, ” last November in Los Angeles, where her works were featured alongside works by Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, and Jim Shaw.
Niagara, WAR PAINT
THE LAST LION VOL 1 & 2-William Manchester
FRANKLIN & WINSTON-John Meacham
A SOLDIER’S STORY-General Omar N. Bradley
A TIME FOR TRUMPETS (Battle of the Bulge)-B. MacDonald
MY EARLY LIFE-Winston Churchill
CHURCHILL’S BODYGUARD-Walter H. Thompson
PATTON, A GENIUS FOR WAR-Carlo D’Este
WIT & WISDOM OF CHURCHILL-James C. Humes
DRIVE-Charles Codman (Patton’s Aide)
PATTON’S DRIVE-Alan Axelrod
CHURCHILL-Lord Moran (Churchill’s Doctor)
LUCKY FORWARD, Patton’s 3rd Army- Col. Robert S. Allen
OPERATION TORCH, WW11 N. Africa-William B. Breur
AN ARMY AT DAWN, N. Africa (1942-43)-Rick Atkinson
I WAS WITH PATTON-D. A. Lande
THE DAY OF BATTLE, Sicily & Italy (1943-44)-R. Atkinson
COMBAT COMMANDER-General Ernest Harmon
THE PATTON PAPERS-Martin Blumenson
COMMAND MISSIONS-General Lucian Truscott