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Michael Gittes | Moments in the Bellum



Park Avenue Armory
May 8, 2013

Moments In The Bellum is Michael Gittes' representation of moments from the Civil War. Rather than ride the coat tails of our collective memory, Gittes takes an approach that is focused on the human more than the history and the person more than the politics. With this, a tension between objective and subjective is born throughout each work and the body as a whole.

Gittes' style balances traditional representation with an abstract technique through which the emotion of his work expresses itself. The frenetic cacophony of lines creates work that feels aggressive. In Gittes' choice to address the Civil War - the violence of his work becomes subdued against the collective perception of war, morality and American identity. His combative strokes give way to vulnerability under the weight of the viewer's empathy for the subject. His rendering forces the viewer to consider the subject's humanity at the given moment, yet his opinion on the person's actions, morality or place in history is left without expression.
Written by Grant Gittlin

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