Robert Arneson’s sculpture General Nuke is on view at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, in their exhibition America: Between Dreams and Realities, Selections from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The exhibition examines the notion of the American dream, considering how artists have variously grappled with questions of identity and the challenges of globalization.
Arneson tackles this question head-on in his 1984 sculpture, General Nuke, from his series addressing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their catastrophic potential. Here, Arneson portrays a general ravenous for war with his bloody teeth and bruised skin. The general’s head sits atop a bronze pedestal modeled as a pile of charred bodies inspired by Auguste Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell’ - the real cost of nuclear war.
See this work at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec through September 11.