War and Aerial Assault of Wolves Merge in Painter's Imagination

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NEW YORK, NY - September 20 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Opening on October 4th at New York's First Street Gallery, Lisa Zwerling's new paintings. Images of war are the potent narrative elements in her recent work. Zwerling was haunted by the visuals of Iraq. In a creative fiction she combines the wolves she's painted for several years with Apache helicopters. Whereas helicopters used in Vietnam were largely for rescue, in Iraq Apaches are a new generation, fitted with bombs.

As Zwerling painted her reaction to the war, she found that her symbolic metaphor was indeed a reality. As a member of the Defenders of Wildlife, and from an editorial in the New York Times, she learned that in Alaska helicopters are used in aerial gunning. Wolves are run down and either shot from the air or exhausted in the chase, then killed on the ground. One Alaskan district increased the limit of killing from a modest 10 wolves a year -- to an alarming 10 wolves a day. Though Apache helicopters are not used for aerial gunning of wolves, Zwerling's image is close enough. It conflates the horrors of war with the ruthless extermination of animals.

Zwerling shows two paintings with the same landscape, one day, one early evening. Helicopters descend like locusts into an agitated forest. "Running Wolves and Apaches" is a large oil, treated with brilliant washes of color as transparent as watercolor. Zwerling's deliriously active brushwork reinforces the sense of panic.

Zwerling continues the theme in paintings of birds of prey. But in comparison to wolves and birds, man aided by machines tops of the list of nature's predators.

The show at First Street Gallery runs from October 4th to 29th. The opening reception is on Thursday, October 6th from 6 to 8. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

*(Photo Caption: Lisa Zwerling, Running Wolves and Apaches, 2005, oil on canvas, 48" x 60" - 122 x 152 cm.)

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