Title: Violent Image of Bodies
Pen and ink, charcoal, and wash
Dimensions: Sheet: 27 3/8 x 39 3/4 in. (69.5 x 101 cm)
Gift of Isabel and William Berley, Classes of 1947 and 1945
Object Number: 99.078.048
Rico Lebrun’s subject matter often focuses on suffering and reflects his desire to communicate a legend or story, from the Crucifixion to beggars to slaughterhouses. Known for his figurative images in black and white, the artist came to the United States in 1924 and became a leading modernist figure in Los Angeles. Lebrun served in the army during World War I and made a series of work in the 1940s–50s about the horrors of the World Wars. Influenced by many literary heroes, such as Dante and Melville, Lebrun also created work based on his admiration for Francisco de Goya. The artist spoke of the usefulness of studying and working in the manner of another to find new discoveries, readings, and forms, very similar to the methods of Enrique Chagoya. In his book Drawings (1961), Lebrun wrote, “a drawing should be a provoker of consequences. It should be, above all, not a thing of art but a tool for understanding.” ("This is no Less Curious: Journeys through the Collection" cocurated by Sonja Gandert, Alexandra Palmer, and Alana Ryder and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - April 12, 2015)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.