Modern Art Monday Presents: O. Louis Guglielmi, Terror In Brooklyn

terror in brooklyn photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

O. (Osvaldo) Louis Guglielmi (19061956) described Terror In Brooklyn (1941), one of his best known works, as “a premonition of war and tragedy.” On a desolate Brooklyn street, three nuns are shown entrapped by life-size bell jar; they seem to cower in the presence of a bandaged pelvis that hangs, like a crucifix or relic, from a nearby building.

Painted in a meticulous realist style, the scenes incongruous details — from the decapitated lamp post to the mirror reflection of the foreground scene in the background — invoke a disjunctive sense of reality, while wispy clouds streaking across the sky, like the wake of aircraft, recall the aerial blitz of London in 1940 — 41. Instead of explicitly depicting the war into which he would soon be conscripted, the artist envisioned a mysterious seen that conjures the period’s anxious, ominous atmosphere

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

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