Unbound. Original painting for the 1966 "Artists Tower of Protest" (also known as "The Peace Tower"). Approximately 24" x 24". Signed on the rear "Angela Kosta" on an affixed label with her Chicago address. Modest corner wear, but near fine. The painting in white, orange, and red, depicts a figure hugging its knees, confined in a triangle which is itself within a circle. The Peace Tower was a 58-foot steel tetrahedron erected in 1966 on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to protest the Vietnam War. This two-foot by two-foot work on plywood, painted by artist Angela Driessen-Kosta, was one of 418 panels that were attached to the structure designed by the sculptor Mark di Suvero. Artists from around the world contributed to the tower, including Elaine de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg (who provided the bulk of the funding to complete the work).
According to Driessen-Kosta: “My intention was to create an 'anti-war' poster. The central figure is expressing grief and is in a confined or 'hopeless' space. The bright colors were used to attract attention but also resemble a 'stop sign' as in stop wars.” She received a degree in art education from Western Michigan University and did postgraduate work at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a photographic set and window display designer in Chicago for 16 years, then moved to San Diego in 1979, where she mounted numerous exhibitions and received a variety of awards. Her artwork is primarily mixed media and sculptural assemblages.
The Peace Tower was dedicated on February 26, 1966 with speeches by Susan Sontag, Irving Petlin, and former Green Beret Donald Duncan. During the three months it stood, the tower and artists were continually under attack. Volunteers from Watts, the recent scene of race riots, assisted in defending it. Efforts were made to relocate the work to another permanent location, but none were successful. Ultimately, the tower itself was dismantled and cut up, the artworks were wrapped in brown paper and anonymously auctioned off by The Los Angeles Peace Center, raising $12,000, according to *Art, Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America* (2000) by Francis Frascina.
The Peace Tower was controversial for more than just its unpopular position against the Vietnam War. It represented the first instance of American artists coming together to create a collective work of art in political protest. “In order to fully contextualize the Peace Tower as well as other efforts artists would make to combine art and politics in their work from 1966 onward, one must understand how such efforts would have been undesirable and unwelcome in the American fine arts system of the 1960s,” wrote Matthew Israel in his book *Kill for Peace: American Artist Against the Vietnam War* (2013). The Tower is also now a model for organizing collective artistic endeavors.
In 2006, the Whitney Museum staged a recreation of the tower in protest of the War in Iraq, and Driessen-Kosta was among the few original Peace Tower artists invited to contribute to this work. A bright and vivid depiction of Vietnam Anti-War art.