Artist: Rick Williams // Title: "Huế, 1968: The Inferno" // "Esprit de Corps," National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago // Through Aug. 1, 2014
Long before local artist Rick Williams co-founded Casa de Arte, the vibrant Elmwood Avenue art space, with his wife Mara Odette Guerrero-Williams, he served as a medical corpsman during the Vietnam War. Out of that service emerged a varied body of figurative and abstract work, among which is this pulsing painting titled after one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
"Williams's painting," according to a releaes from the National Veterans Art Museum, "is largely expressionistic and volatile. The alternating streaks of blue, black, and purple create a striking sense of visual movement. Williams intentionally emphasized forms resembling faces, personalizing an otherwise abstract work."
While the exhibition is in Chicago, Williams' work can often be found in the gallery, where the current Day of the Dead exhibition runs through Sunday.