27 Septiembre 1975
Wolfe painted 27 Septiembre in response to the 1975 execution in Spain of five university students by Franco’s regime. The composition of the lower panel recalls Goya’s 3rd of May 1808, a memorial to the Spaniards executed by Napoleon’s troops. As with all of Wolfe’s political work, 27 Septiembre was directed at an American audience, as he sought to raise awareness the United States government’s support of Franco’s regime.
Wolfe painted “Roxbury Portrait” in 1967. It portrays a group of neighbors near his studio in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. A separate panel refers to the Vietnam War-era practice of giving young men who were arrested for petty crimes in the predominantly black neighborhood a choice of “Vietnam or jail.” A second panel depicts a casualty of local violence.