Image: A Nuclear Warhead
(Benicia, California, 1930 - 1992, Benicia, California)

A Nuclear Warhead , 1983

Conte crayon, India ink, pencil and pen on paper
20 7/8 in. x 31 7/8 in. (53.02 cm x 80.96 cm)
Gift of the artist
1990.25
Arneson, who initially aspired to be a cartoonist, consistently created drawings alongside his works in sculpture.  A Nuclear Warhead, which served as a study for the sculpture Nuke News, fills the sheet of paper and serves as a powerful visual statement in its own right.  The black border and blood red tones suggest the horrors of war and the fluid quality of the drawing suggests a work in progress.  The slogans and word plays, such as “man unkind” that define the contours of the skull in the drawing are used more sparingly and to different visual effect in Nuke News.

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