Terror Painting

George W. Bush, Barney, 2012 (?)


Lapata, Humsafar: President George W. Bush with his Scottie, Barney, 2007


Marlene Dumas, The Blindfolded, 2002


Luc Tuymans, Secretary of State, 2005



Marlene Dumas, Woman of Algiers, 2001


Leon Golub, Interrogation I, 1981


Lapata, Walk-In Freezer (Qaddafi), 2012


Marlene Dumas, Jen, 2005


Gerhard Richter, Tote, 1988


Édouard Manet, Dead Toreador, 1864


Hans Holbein, The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (detail), 1522

"In the picture the face is terribly smashed with blows, swollen, covered with terrible, swollen, and blood-stained bruises, the eyes open and squinting; the large, open whites of the eyes have a sort of dead and glassy glint...Looking at that picture, you get the impression of nature as some enormous, implacable, and dumb beast, or, to put it more correctly, thought it may seem strange, as some huge engine of the latest design, which has senselessly seized, cut to pieces, and swallowed up—impassively and unfeelingly–a great and priceless Being...The picture seems to give expression to the idea of a dark, insolent, and senselessly eternal power, to which everything is subordinated, and this idea is suggested to you unconsciously."

—Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot, 1869


Andrea Mantegna, Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, 1480



Luc Tuymans, Ballroom Dancing (George and Laura), 2005

He lies in his grave
and I know not where
Though I keep asking people

Perhaps the poor child
Lies in a rough ditch
and instead he could have been
lying in his warm bed

—from a mid-15th-century Polish folk song of the Opole region


Gerhard Richter, September, 2005


Adolf Hitler, Untitled, undated


Charles, Prince of Wales, Ormos Palaio, Monemvasia, Greece, 2005


Winston Churchill, Marrakech, 1948

"However, I stand for 8–10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?"

—Donald Rumsfeld, handwritten note on torture memo, 2002

Paul Bremer, Study of Cap d'Antibes (after Monet), 2012



George W. Bush, Untitled, 2013 (?)


Gerhard Richter, Erhängte, 1988


Fernando Botero, Abu Ghraib, 2005

"Why didn't I know about this?"—George W. Bush, Decision Points, 2011


George W. Bush, Self-Portrait in Shower, 2013 (?)


Fernando Botero, Abu Ghraib, 2005


Abu Zubaydah, Drawings depicting his torture by Americans, after 2006 [release of images denied under the Freedom of Information Act]


Paul Stopforth, The Interrogators, 1979

"That is what Paul West, novelist, had written about, page after page after page, leaving nothing out; and that is what she read, sick with the spectacle, sick with herself, sick with a world in which such things took place, until at last she pushed the book away and sat with her head in her hands. Obscene! she wanted to cry but did not cry because she did not know at whom the word should be flung: at herself, at West, at the committee of angels that watches impassively over all that passess. Obscene because such things ought not to take place, and then obscene again because having taken place they ought not to be brought into the light but covered up and hidden forever in the bowels of the earth, like what goes on in the slaughterhouses of the world, if one wants to save one's sanity."

—J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello and the Problem of Evil in Salmagundi, 2003


Molly Crabapple, Guantánamo Bay, 2013


Nicky Hodjoumi, Untitled, 1976


Sam Nhlengethwa, It Left Him Cold: The Death of Steve Biko, 1990