- Selected Works »
1968-69, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 94"
Collection Barbara & Janet Liles
1960s Riots, Civil Rights
Following the "Angry Art" paintings, Liles turns his eye to the embattled streets of America, especially his home town of Birmingham, Alabama. As anti-war and civil rights riots spread, Liles paints, creating a visceral chronicle of the times. The paint in these works is thin bright color, washing across the canvas; the images sketched boldly, drawing the viewer into the chaos of rioting. These are not comfortable paintings, but rather, follow a long tradition of art as bearing witness.
"The paintings which resulted were quick and violent with an enormous visual punch. Of course they were not commercially viable but they should be appreciated as significant statements of the trauma of that era and as part of an important artistic and historical legacy."