“The War Show: 50 Years of Painting” by Richard Shelton Opens on May 9th at Temporary Space LA

The War Show, the second installment of Richard Shelton, 50 Years of Painting, opens on May 9th at Temporary Space LA.  This exhibition consists of works inspired by events in the artist’s life, as well as by world events that compelled him to respond. Curated by Fatemeh Burnes, The War Show explores the glamorization of war and violent behavior in American culture. Featured in this installation are works from the artist’s War, Guns & Ammo, Handgun, and Expressionist Nudes series.   Richard Shelton, 50 Years of Painting will be on view through June 20th.

Toppling of the Tyrants, 2006, 40″ x 43″; 47.25″ x 50″, pastel on paper

Richard Shelton’s War series was developed in response to the second Iraq war.  The artist viewed the events that resulted in the war, but chose to see them from the vulnerable, guileless point of view of a child.

The series juxtaposes events from this war against a backdrop comprised of children’s toys, including the ubiquitous green plastic army man. These works amplify the horrors of war by viewing them through the innocent eyes of a child.

Richard Shelton’s Expressionist Nudes series examines the essential vulnerability of all humans.  Weapons and other material that would indicate a war or conflict are purposefully omitted from these works.  Instead, these paintings depict men and women under assault, surrounded by aggressively painted color abstractions, full of raw emotion with nothing to provide protection.

The Guns & Ammo series is a reaction to the horrors of the Columbine High School Massacre, a tragedy that killed 13 students and wounded 20.  Richard Shelton created works that highlight the way gun violence has been glamorized by popular culture.  Colorful toy guns are painted alongside imagery of real ammunition, drawing attention to the stark and lasting consequences of violent behavior.

Toy Guns & Bullet Boxes, 2004, 29″ x 54″, oil on canvas


The Handgun series is a reflection of the overarching influence of guns, even among the very young.  In reference to children pretending to shoot invisible bullets with their hands shaped as guns, the Handgunseries illustrates how violence has become ubiquitous in our society. These works depict primarily adult hands making these childlike gestures in all types of domestic, business, and recreational situations.


Fun Guns, 2010, 27” x 38.5”, oil on canvas

Richard Shelton’s paintings have been displayed in the Smithsonian Art Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum and other museums in the United States and are in numerous private collections. Praised by critics for his technique and intensity, each of Shelton’s emotionally charged paintings offers a snippet of social commentary on life in the modern world.
Temporary Space presents the complete archives of selected mid-to-late career artists through exhibitions and digital applications. Our mission is to enable a rich and unfiltered interaction with an artist’s entire body of work, and to make purchasing the art simple and fast.

Temporary Space is an alternative exhibition platform to the traditional art gallery model.  Unlike the traditional gallery model, Temporary Space will not represent artists. Instead of showcasing the art of developing or emerging artists, Temporary Space will exhibit the art of mid-career and late-career artists, with particular emphasis upon artists who have been under-appreciated, both critically and economically, by the art establishment.

Richard Shelton, 50 Years of Painting includes a timeline that spans the artist’s entire 50 year career and features nearly 2,500 works.

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