US painter. A political activist and artist, Golub created narrative images that referred to current social issues such as sexism, racism, war, and politics; also common were references to violence and terror. His ability to capture a moment of drama is shown in his Gigantomachies series (large sculptural figure paintings of nude men fighting), and White Squad II (1982; Seattle Art Museum, Washington), which expressively depicts a victim with a gun at his head. Psychological and physical flashes are rendered on giant, unstretched canvases, to which thick layers of paint have been successively applied and then taken down with a meat cleaver, the resulting texture adding to the dramatic violence of the work.
Golub was born in Chicago, Illinois, and studied at the Chicago Art Institute (1949–50). Ignoring contemporary art movements, such as pop art and abstract expressionism, Golub adhered mainly to figurative work of a political and narrative nature throughout his career. His work was particularly popular in the 1980s.