Beth Furgurson photo
David Gray Turner received a commendation from the United States Army for painting a mural in Baghdad during a sandstorm. The citation notes that the mural "improved the morale of the 10th Mountain Division."
Turner's current exhibition, "East of 14th Street/South of Baghdad," runs from May 7 through June 1 at the Glave Kocen Gallery. The oil-on-panel pieces conclude his long-running interpretation of Shockoe's urban landscape. "Then there's the intermission, which is Iraq," he says.
Turner began a six-year Army hitch in 2005 at the age of 38. His intention wasn't to make art in the Army, but during basic training, to get ahead in the laundry line, Turner sketched portraits of comrades on blank postcards. This got him noticed. He wound up in the Army's journalism division. All the while, he photographed, took notes and painted.
In a sense, his paintings of shipping containers, industrial warehouses and streetscapes in Iraq are extensions of his Shockoe series. There's little narrative, one exception being a roadside with a woman shrouded in black coming from the market. Behind her, there are bombed-out buildings.
For more information, call 359-1990 or visit glavekocengallery.com .