Gallery Three:  The Dante Cycle


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Jacob Landau's work is inspired by prophets, humanist thinkers and romantic literature.  He sees the role of the artist as hero and prophet with a dedication "to individual growth, to humanity and life".  Though outwardly concerned with Dante's vision of Hell, the works in the "Dante Cycle" are equally Landau's own commentaries on the hells of consciousness and civilization.  These expressively tumultuous works are informed by the tragic events of Landau's life, such as the great depression, World War II and the Nazi holocaust.  According to Landau, "I came to feel that the poem dealt with the drama of human growth and with the tragedy of human choosing.  To exercise choice is to be free, but to choose is to bear the consequences of having chosen."  The Dante lithographs are also important early experiments in the use of mylar instead of stone or metal as a drawing surface, and in using light instead of acid as a means for transferring and fixing the image on an aluminum plate.  Landau produced six of the seven prints at the famed Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 

The Virtuous Pagans

Paolo and Francesca

The Violent Against Themselves

The Noble Thieves

The City of Dis

The Violent Against Art

The Ninth Circle

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