The Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, owns two paintings by David Wojnarowicz.
Of the mixed-media work Crash: The Birth of Language / the Invention of Lies, 1986, curator Ruth Erickson writes, “a man tied down in a desert while being eaten by vultures, a burning building, an adobe structure and kachina figurine, and the opening of a tomb—capture moments of intense transition amid … relentless, destructive forward motion. Wojnarowicz signals the duplicitousness of such ‘progress,’ wherein the birth of language becomes the invention of lies.”
In speaking about The Death of American Spirituality, 1987, Erickson says, “The largest figure on this surrealist ground is a cowboy riding a bull made from collaged newspapers…. Underneath this conventional American symbol, red paint oozes like an open wound over a strip of nature scenes. Wojnarowicz’s canvas registers what he often lamented as the loss of nature and belief in myth.”
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