FLANDERS FIELDS: 25 YEARS OF DEPICTING BRITISH TRENCH POETRY
October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, October 4
5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art Loop
In 1994, artist Constance Cone heard the Philadelphia Orchestra perform Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a dramatic composition commissioned to celebrate the rebuilding of the Coventry Cathedral destroyed in WWII. Stunned by the music's power, a Latin Mass intermingled with writings of poet Wilfred Owen written while he was a soldier with the British troops, and living in the trenches in France during WWI, Cone began to read the verse of the "Trench Poets." This led to a 25-year response in a body of work that includes paintings, prints, and drawings.
Cone comments, "The music led me to the Trench Poets: Owens, Sassoon, Graves, Thomas, Sorley and Rosenberg. For twenty-five years, with a sidetrack into landscape for a while, I found myself returning again and again to the poetry."
Curator J. Susan Isaacs comments, "This body of work is the result of what became a long-term project for the artist of reading the poetry and visiting the historical sites of the First World War after listening to Benjamin Britten's War Requiem Opus 66. The poetry that inspired her was created by men who experienced war and understood it to be destructive, horrifying, and something to be avoided. Cone sees parallels between the events of the Great War and those of her own time, from the Vietnam War through to the present day international immigration crisis. Cone's visual responses are lyrical and elegant as well as powerful and disturbing, combining both abstraction and narrative elements throughout."
Constance Cone was born in New York City and received a BA in Classics from Vassar College in 1970. Three years later, she began photographing, specializing in platinum and palladium printing, a method invented in 1876. Fifteen years later, as she began to experiment with the prints, she continued her art education in drawing, watercolor, and painting. Cone studied at Moore College of Art for two years and then graduated with an MFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. She is represented by 3rd Street Gallery in Philadelphia and has shown extensively in galleries and museums across the United States. Cone has received several awards such as the Wellan Memorial Award from the Alexandria Museum Visual Arts Center and was the Purchase Award Winner in the 63rd Annual Delaware Exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum. She is represented at Delaware Art Museum, The Art Gallery of the University of Notre Dame, and Vassar College Art Gallery was well as in corporate and private collections.
Curated by J. Susan Isaacs
A catalog accompanies the exhibition with essays by J. Susan Isaacs, Professor of Art History and Curator of the Department of Art + Design Galleries at Towson University, MD and Brian Kreydatus, Professor of Art & Art History at the College of William and Mary, VA.
Beckler Family Gallery