Art © Estate of Leon Golub/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
White Squad V, 1984, was inspired by actual events in Central America. Oversize figures monumentalize the painting’s documentary content about power and torture on the fringes of Western politics in Latin America. Characteristic of Golub’s other works, White Squad V captures the decisive moment of violent action and calls attention to situations that the media seldom covers. Golub renders his typically huge, unstretched canvas by applying layers of thick paint, then dissolving it and scraping it down with a meat cleaver. The process of building and taking away paint results in a dense, flat surface that often exposes the raw fiber of the canvas. His painterly concerns with texture and surface yield a highly tactile finish that has a subtle, but disturbing reference to raw flesh and wounded skin.