No Rest For the PhD Students

Everywhere I go, I am reminded of the work ahead of me.

At the Jönköping museum I noticed this painting, hanging, despite its size, somewhat hidden.

It is called Utflykt i det gröna (The Luncheon on the Grass), 1972, by Swedish artist Gerhard Nordström (b. 1925). From the suite “Sommaren 1970” (”Summer, 1970"), oil on masonite, 190 x 435 cm.

It is reminiscent of Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) by Édouard Manet from 1862/1863. To the left of the frame the artist has included victims from the My Lai massacre, something he said he could not leave out of the idyllic scene after hearing about it, and seeing the photographs.

The painting, and its peripheral place in the museum, speaks volumes about memory and forgetting.