Surrealism and War : The Earth Lies Screaming by Jim Leedy - CODAworx

Surrealism and War : The Earth Lies Screaming by Jim Leedy

Submitted by Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

Client: National Veterans Art Museum

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Completion date: 2014

Project Team


Jim Leedy

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center


“The Earth Lies Screaming” is 50' long x 10' tall and completed in 2000. The sculpture “Atomic Skull” measures 8' tall and approx. 6' wide also completed in 2000.


Jim Leedy's "The Earth Lies Screaming" wall and "Atomic Skull" sculpture are both featured in "Surrealism and War" which is an exhibition of veterans’ artwork that explores the relationship between Surrealism and the experience of war located within the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.


From the artist:

“I went swimming one day. There was a let-up in the war and I went swimming. The water was calm and almost you could see yourself in it. I jumped in and swam out. I was amazed that I could see my reflection. All of the sudden I saw through my reflection and on the bottom of the lake was rotting bodies, corpses, just hundreds of them. It was a surreal experience I admit. But it was a scary experience. I felt like I was swimming in the rotting bodies. So that had a big impact on me and it was one of the things that I had nightmares about for years after I got out of the army. The making of that wall, and the skull head, emancipated me from my dreams and I never had a bad dream after that. I did not enjoy doing anything with skulls after that. It was surrealism and emancipation from fear and horror.”