The Face of War: Gabor Peterdi and his Contemporaries

June 11, 2016 to October 09, 2016

The turmoil brought on by the two World Wars of the twentieth century stimulated the production of terrifying, yet visually striking works by artists on both sides of the Atlantic. This exhibition features prints by Hungarian-American printmaker Gabor Peterdi (1915–2001) and three of his contemporaries: Canadian illustrator Kerr Eby (1890–1946) and American artists John Sloan (1871–1951) and Joseph Pennell (1857–1926).

Speaking about war, Peterdi declared, “The six-year interval between 1933 and 1939 was a violent, tragic period in the world…our life was engulfed more in hatred, bitterness and anguish for the future.” Although the prints in this exhibition span a broader range of years, this quote encapsulates the general anxieties of a nation engaged in warfare and provides context for the shocking and powerful imagery produced by first-hand witnesses. The Face of War focuses on the multiple facets of life during wartime, such as the production of ammunition, the isolation of soldiers, the psychological and physical damages of battle, and the glorification of the military uniform.

The Face of War: Gabor Peterdi and His Contemporaries  features works from the collection of Elizabeth D. Moyer, Ph.D., and Michael C. Powanda, Ph.D, of the KMP Collection, as well as works in the collection of the JSMA. The exhibition was organized by Chyna Bounds, a graduate student in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, under the guidance of Senior Curator of Western Art Johanna G. Seasonwein.