In this series of lithographs, the grand gravestones in Washington DC’s historic Congressional Cemetery are contrasted with the dogs which run there every day.
By putting the dogs first, Delaney reflects what the Congressional Cemetery has become – a living place in the center of a busy city, where people walk their dogs. He has raised the subject matter to the level of metaphor; the dog represents the most honest form of loyalty, against the backdrop of a place where people come to honor and show loyalty to ancestors and family.
Through his treatment of the gravestones they become monumentalized in the way of Greek and Roman temples, layering time back to the ancients and their representations of death, burial and different worlds. By raising the headstones from the landscape and reimagining them, Delaney creates new landscapes.
However, the backgrounds are muted, all in a similar monochromatic scale, which both softens the idea of death and draws the viewer in to make out the details they contain.
But throughout the series, the charcoal drawings of the dog remain the focus, keeping the viewer in the present tense. The variety of representations of the dog builds a sense of evolution from puppy to adulthood, and connects each piece in the series.
The series is only available through the Congressional Cemetery.