Collaborative work with Erika Marquardt

Artist Statement

German born artist, Erika Marquardt, and I worked together from 1995 through 2006. In 1995, art critic and curator Charles Guiliano, and curator and writer Astrid Heimer, introduced us and asked us to show our work together about World War II and the Holocaust. That same year, we were invited to do so again in Leipzig, Germany. While in Germany together, our conversation deepened and increased in complexity to the point that we decided to bring our dialogue literally onto canvas.

The slides I have included are all from the biggest resulting project from my collaboration with Erika Marquardt – one thousand small canvases, Have we gone too far?, each one for a year of Hitler’s proposed Third Reich. Each canvas is 5 x 7 inches, worked on by both of us, and framed in lead and charcoal. The charcoal at the tops refers to the pebbles left by visitors on Jewish graves, and the lead to the toxicity of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity.

Erika Marquardt was born in Berlin in 1937. Her father was a train engineer and an officer in the Wehrmacht. She does not know what he did. After the War, the family was in the former East Berlin, from where they escaped right before the Wall was built. Her father had refused to join the Communist Party. Erika carries both the legacy of Germany during the Hitler years and the trauma of having been a child in war.