January 28, 2010 – The widely recognized “Denunciation” series of paintings by David Lax has joined the permanent artwork collection at DCC. It will be displayed in the DCC Mildred I. Washington Art Gallery from Feb. 10 – 19, then housed in the College’s Hudson Hall.
The paintings originally were exhibited in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in 1949 and 1950. Artistically, “Denunciation” is in the tradition of Jacques Callot’s “Miseries of War” and Goya’s “Disasters of War.” “Denunciation” is a public announcement stigmatizing war, warning of impending evil.
Lax, a DCC faculty member during the early years of the College, was a soldier and artist in the army during World War II.
He witnessed the human toll of the Holocaust while riding on a train with 1,500 survivors of the Belson concentration camp, and passing Dachau, where thousands of bodies had just been discovered in railroad cars. Lax’s 14 “Denunciation” paintings, completed between 1945 and 1949, were influenced by his experiences at war, and reflect the suffering of battle and the human condition.
Lax donated the “Denunciation” series to the State University of New York in 1972. When SUNY recently decided to decentralize its art collection, DCC President Dr. D. David Conklin requested they be given to DCC, citing Lax’s ties to the College.
“We are very fortunate to have these paintings as part of DCC’s permanent art collection,” said Conklin. “They are of great historical significance, and David Lax’s professor emeritus status at the College makes them even more special to us and our community.”
The paintings will join DCC’s extensive art collection, which recently was estimated to be valued at $2.6 million. The pieces, which include outdoor sculptures, have been donated over the years by artists and College benefactors.
“DCC students receive a great education, but we think it’s important to make sure the college experience extends beyond the classroom,” said Conklin. “The artwork throughout our campus creates an inviting, enriching atmosphere for students, as well as for our community.”
The “Denunciation” exhibit opens Feb. 10; a public reception will be held Feb. 17 at 5 p.m.
The gallery is in the Allyn J. Washington Center for Science and Art. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For this exhibit only, the gallery will be open on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors to the Gallery should park in Lot D on the north side of campus. Admission is free.
For more information, call Gallery Director Margaret Craig at (845) 431-8617 .
Founded in 1957, Dutchess Community College is a two-year community college that has earned a reputation for providing an outstanding education at the lowest tuition in New York state. Its main campus is in Poughkeepsie, with a satellite campus in Wappingers Falls. For more information, visit www.sunydutchess.edu.