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1967, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 39", framed
Collection Barbara & Janet Liles
1960s Angry Art
In 1957, Liles returns to the United States, finally settling in New York City where he begins a decade of prolific work responding to the turbulent political and social issues of the times. In the early 60s, haunted by WWII and Korea and in sympathy with the anti-war sentiment, he paints a series of large, highly evocative paintings which he calls, "Angry Art".
"Inspired by the Color Field painters of the time, which in his Paris series actually anticipated the techniques of poured and sprayed paint, he applied fluid acrylic to the canvas turning it rapidly to accentuate the flowing patterns of richly saturated, high chroma colors. He was evoking the color of blood and explosions of napalm occurring in the regular bombings of Vietnamese villages. It was the painted equivalent of the famous line by the Robert Duvall character in Apocalypse Now 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning.'"