Mark Vallen's Newsletter © Aug. update '04
Art Activism & Social Change
Artworks by Mark Vallen
A R T  F O R   A  C H A N G E


1) - MORE THAN A WITNESS... Last week for Mark Vallen's retrospective exhibition
2) - LEON GOLUB - RIP... Men Are Not For Burning
3) - THE SCREAM... Edvard Munch's famous artwork stolen
5) - PEACE SIGNS - THE EXHIBITION... Taking place in NYC for RNC week

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Oil painting by Mark Vallen
"Folklorista" Detail of Mark Vallen's oil painting

A Shenere Velt Gallery
Now - Aug. 29, 2004

A major retrospective art exhibition encompassing thirty years of work.

Last Week!
Don't miss the Closing Party
for this important show!
Thursday, August. 26th, 6:30 pm

Painting and Poetry connect at this unique art event. Acclaimed writer, Luis J. Rodriguez to read poetry at the Closing Party for Mark Vallen's exhibit. The writer and the painter will collaborate in offering a powerful evening of socially conscious art.

The Sunday August 22, 2004 edition of the Los Angeles Times Magazine published nearly a full page article on Vallen's exhibit which included three color photos of the works on display. The Times stated the artist treats his subjects "with irony, tenderness and acerbic humor."

At the Closing Party award-winning author Luis J. Rodriguez will read selected works from his impressive repertoire as well as recite the verse of famed poet Pablo Neruda to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great Chilean writer's birth. Rodriguez, known for penning the international bestseller, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., also believes that a writer can help make a difference. For additional information on the author:

Vallen will be in the gallery to greet you during the following days and hours:
Wednesday 25th - Friday 27th - from 12 Noon until 2 o'clock

GALLERY HOURS Monday - Thursday 10 am - 5 pm. Friday 10 am - 3 pm.
Group and guided viewings can be arranged. The artworks will also be on view during regular events at the Workmen's Circle.

The final opportunity to view Vallen's exhibit comes on Sunday, August 29th, 2004. That evening at 7pm, the A Shenere Velt Gallery will be present a screening of Burn!, director Gillo Pontecorvo's panoramic film of a slave rebellion in an 18th-century Caribbean setting starring Marlon Brando. The Italian film maker also directed the
classic 1965 film, Battle of Algiers.

A Shenere Velt Gallery
Eric A. Gordon, PhD - Director, Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring
Southern California District

1525 South Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035.
(310) 552-2007 phone (310) 552-3417 fax

(national WC/AR) :

Men Are Not For Burning

Painter Leon Golub died on August 8th at the age of 82. He was a main proponent of both figurative and social realism. Born in Chicago in 1922, the artist spent time in Paris during the 1950ís, where he witnessed massive demonstrations against the French colonial war then taking place in Algeria. A politicized Golub returned to the US in the early 60ís, where he began creating prints and paintings on the themes of war, oppression, torture, and humanity's capacity to brutalize itself.

"Interrogation" painting by Golub (detail)
"Interrogation" Leon Golub (detail)
Anti-war print by Leon Golub
Anti-war print by Leon Golub

Golub soon turned to excoriating US policy in Vietnam, and in 1973 he painted a huge 40 foot wide canvas titled, Vietnam II, which depicted US soldiers shooting Vietnamese peasants.

He had developed a style of monumental painting in which he first applied paint to the canvas, then scraped it off to leave a multi-layered and scarred texture over which he applied even more paint.

He used this method to good effect when in the 1980's he turned his attention to the atrocities occurring in Central America as well as to the repression of the African liberation movements of Southern Africa. He addressed aspects of those struggles with uncompromising honesty in a series of paintings titled Interrogation and Mercenaries. Golub once said of his works, "I'm trying to invite you into scenes where you might not want to be invited in." The artist regularly donated his works to raise money for social causes, and he continued to be a dissident voice in the arts until the very end.

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is presenting a
bi-coastal documentary film series titled, WAR! Protest in America, 1965-2004. On view in NYC from August 26, to October 24, 2004, the series includes the movie, Not in Our Name, in which Brigitte Cornand interviews Leon Golub on the eve of the current Iraq conflagration. That film and many others will also screen in Los Angeles at CalArts this coming October 30 - 31, 2004. (for NYC tickets call 1-877-WHITNEY - for LA ticket info, call 213 237-2810). For a schedule of the film series, please visit

Edvard Munch's famous artwork stolen

On August 22, 2004, two masked and armed thugs raided Norway's Oslo Munch Museum in broad daylight and made off with one of the world's most famous artworks. The art thieves held pistols on museum guards and forced dozens of tourists to lie on the floor while the heist was pulled off. The bandits pulled two paintings off the wall, Edvard Munch's famous The Scream and a lesser known work of his, The Madonna. There were some 70 people in the gallery as the gun toting criminals put the artworks under their arms and ran out the door. The famous artworks were cut out of their frames, which were found discarded in another part of the city.

"The Scream" by Edvard Munch
The Scream, by Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was an influential Norwegian artist whose emotionally charged work helped give birth to the early Expressionist school. The Scream is considered to be the artist's most important creation, an artwork epitomizing the angst and alienation of modern society. Munch made several versions of his famous image, which he first created in 1893. "They were all painted by Munch, and they are all just as valuable," museum spokeswoman Jorunn Christoffersen told the Associated Press. "Still, these paintings are not possible to sell, and it is impossible to put a price tag on them." Undoubtedly the stolen works will either be put up for ransom or sold to a corrupt private collector.

Munch worked in Germany as well as his home country of Norway. In 1937, the Nazis denounced the artist's creations as Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art), and some 80 of his paintings were seized or removed from German galleries. In the spring of 1940 the Nazis invaded and occupied Norway, establishing a puppet government headed by Vidkun Quisling (a name forever associated with bootlicks and collaborators). Munch refused any contact with the Quisling regime and scornfully derided Hitler as a house painter. On January 23rd 1944, Munch died at the age of 81 with his native Norway still under Nazi occupation.

Edvard Munch helped launch a revolution in art that still has resonance in the present. Yet, like other prophets, he had to struggle against the reactionaries of his time in order to establish himself. Even in death Munch is targeted by cold-blooded and pitiless philistines who see only dollar signs as they pillage the treasures he bequeathed to the people. One can only hope that justice will find the looters and that Munch's paintings will be returned safely to their proper home.

The Munch Museum in Norway maintains a beautiful website where you can read about the artist and view his works:

Karen Ocker's Bush Coloring book
Karen Ocker's Bush Coloring book

In New York during RNC week

Karen Ocker, creator of the George W. Bush Coloring Book, has organized a convention week art exhibit in New York City that features the works of 20 artists from around the country. Artist's works address topics ranging from the war on Iraq and homeland security, to the economy, the environment, and much more. The Artist's Reception takes place on August 28th, 2004 from 6 - 9 pm. It all takes place at the A.I.R. Gallery, 511 West 25th St. Suite 301, NYC. Phone 212-255-6651. For more info, visit the gallery's website, at:

PEACE SIGNS - Exhibition during RNC week

Peace Signs: The Antiwar Movement Illustrated is the ultimate artbook collection of posters and graphics from the current war in Iraq. The book contains 200 full color posters from artists and designers from over 22 countries worldwide, featuring artwork by artists Mark Vallen, Sue Coe, Seth Tobocman, Winston Smith, and many others. Now an exhibition of more than 80 images, including poster art from the compelling book, will be on exhibit at New York's Chisholm Gallery in time for the Republican Party Convention. The exhibit presents historic posters addressing the subject of war, including works dating from WW1 to the present. The exhibit is on display until September 11th, 2004. The Chisholm Gallery is located at: 56 West 22nd St, 2nd Fl. (near Sixth Ave). Visit the gallery's website, at:

Purchase Peace Signs
Mark Vallen's ART FOR A CHANGE © website serves as a resource center for Art Activism. It encourages and promotes the creation of artworks that envision a just, peaceful world. Please inform others of this site, and forward this notice to all appropriate lists and individuals. If you wish to be added or removed from the AFC mailing list, or if you'd rather receive a text only version of this mailing... send an e-mail request to
"No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love" ~ Edvard Munch