The Huntsville Museum of Art has purchased a painting by University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Gary Chapman, MFA, for its permanent collection. This is the 13th painting by Chapman to have been purchased for a museum’s permanent collection.
“Life During Wartime,” created in 2006 from oil and gold leaf on canvas and mixed media on wood panels, is 84 inches tall and 64 inches wide. It was recently featured in the two-person show “CONNECTIONS,” which included works by Chapman and Carolyn Sherer. The show was on exhibition May 18-Sept. 22, 2013.
Chapman is a professor of painting in the UAB Department of Art and Art History. The large-scale painting “is a very special painting to me and my family,” Chapman said. In the show’s catalog, Chapman said the work was a dialogue between himself and his daughter, Sadie, whose image he used in the work.
“It’s about accountability, responsibility and finding acceptance for something and moving on,” Chapman said. “The painting directly addresses her heart surgery and how sometimes life sucks. Also the idea that it’s OK to go into a dark place for a while, but at some point you have to rise up and move forward.” The texts in the work and the title reference lyrics from Chapman’s favorite cult bands in the 1980s, which inspired him as a young artist in graduate school. Chapman, who has a second degree in woodworking, inserted the canvas into a larger composition, added constructed elements and pasted imagery from radically different contexts on to the surfaces.