The wars that have been an unrelenting feature of the past hundred years have left an enduring legacy in the art they have provoked. Here Betty Churcher, one of our leading art historians, explores the range and diversity of art inspired by war. She explores the work of official war artists in the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the war against terror in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. She looks, too, at lesser-known artists, ordinary soldiers, who were drawing in the trenches during the First World War, the concentration camps of Europe, the prisoner-of-war camps of South-East Asia, and at artists who have been inspired by peace-keeping missions in Timor, Somalia and Eritrea. "The Art of War" is stunningly illustrated throughout, featuring images as diverse as George Lambert's dramatic battlefield panoramas, Will Dyson's political cartoons, Ray Parkin's prisoner-of-war camp sketches and Gordon Bennett's graffiti-influenced works produced in the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York. Using works created to inspire patriotic sentiment, to record personal insights or to protest the senseless loss of human life, Churcher shows that where war has influenced movements in art, art has also changed attitudes to war. "The Art of War" is published to accompany the television series of the same name, produced by Film Australia and to be screened on SBS.
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