09/19/2017

Aaron Cockle here today with Anti-Gone Tour Dates; the International Human Rights Cartoon Award; Teju Cole on Marie Cosindas; David Salle on Rei Kawakubo; John Hankiewicz’s Education; Tac au Tac

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Anti-Gone on Tour
Connor Willumsen is touring in support of his new book, available now from Koyama Press. Noel Freibert and Patrick Kyle will also be joining Willumsen on the tour.

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International Human Rights Cartoon Award
Via Maren Williams at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:

Exiled Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani, who was forced to flee his native country when the regime took notice of his work in 2009, has established a new international prize to recognize cartoonists who are speaking out on issues of human rights anywhere in the world. Submissions for the International Human Rights Cartoon Award are open now until Nov. 30 through Ramezani’s organization United Sketches.

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‘…an ensorcelled world that included flowers, vases, dolls, lace, fur, rugs, porcelain, books, chairs, oranges, asparagus, posters, ornaments, statues, dancers, dandies, sailors, tarot cards, masks and puppets, but also those portals into other worlds — paintings, mirrors and windows — that collectively constituted a highly personal vision of reality enamored of theatrical effects and attuned to the inner life of inanimate things…’
Teju Cole looks at the photography work of Marie Cosindas (among other topics), in the longest single sentence ever published by the NY Times.

…much as Cosindas carefully selected subject matter and, through technical know-how and visual intelligence — a skillful deployment of lighting, filters, exposure times, developing times and ambient temperature for florals but also other genres, including portraits and assemblages of objects of all kinds for which she disliked the term “still life,” rightly rejecting any connotation of stasis, and for which she preferred “arrangement” — turned it into indelible statements about what photography could achieve more than half a century after pictorialism’s heyday, with a use of color that was more soulful, by being somehow both freer and more disciplined, than what was generally seen in commercial color of the 1960s, and that came into the world earlier than the work of some other great color photography pioneers like William Eggleston, whose style was more deadpan, less arranged, less obviously artful and more in keeping with the preference of critics and curators, once they acquired a taste for it, for what art photography in color should look like, though the louche and antiquarian work that Cosindas made did result in considerable fame for her in the ’60s and ’70s, with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (before Eggleston), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Art Institute of Chicago, but did not win her glory in most standard histories of photography, in which other artists, mostly younger than she and almost all male, are credited as the true pioneers of color, so that she came to be seen as an anomaly, neither modern nor contemporary, in part because her particular contribution to photography was mystical, sensuous, unashamed of beauty and grounded in the combination of everyday objects with exotic ones, an earnestness that fit awkwardly with the ironic and occasionally cynical tastes that dominated the last half-century but put her firmly in the line of many artists in history who were revolutionary not by founding a new school of thought but by discovering unexpected life in old approaches, not in keeping with the times but rather timeless,…

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‘For this interplay of references to have real weight, there must be at least hints of a discernible visual syntax.’
David Salle looks at length at the Rei Kawakubo exhibit, which just ended its run at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

The exhibition design, a collaboration between Kawakubo and the Met curators, follows no perceptible chronology. Enclosures of various shapes—inverted cones, flattened spheres and semicircles, keyholes, ovals, triangles—contain the clothes, which are grouped by collection or theme. These frames are rendered in white plasterboard and lit from above by dense rows of fluorescent tubes, making a shadowless space, objective in tone. They are like viewing platforms, some of which function as small proscenium stages, while others are more like theater in the round. Still others are like caves whose restrictive openings give only a partial view of the clothes within. There is no attempt to make the clothes themselves look inhabited. Dresses and other garments are displayed on mannequin forms supported by thin metal rods, like sculpture. They are what Giacometti’s figures would be wearing had they taken the time to get dressed.

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EDUCATION, by John Hankiewicz
Henry Chamberlain at the Comics Grinder blog looks at John Hankiewicz’s most recent book.

Yes, this is a very arty book but it avoids becoming an academic hot mess. Much to enjoy in simply accepting a greyhound head as a beam of light. Much to enjoy in a disjointed narrative if done right. There is certainly a long tradition of artists using text that doesn’t really seem to match the adjacent imagery. Think of Magritte and his play with text and image. Ever mindful of that, no doubt, Hankiewicz seems to relish his playing with text and image, and delightfully recontextualizing images, just like playing improvisational jazz.

John Hankiewicz, from Education

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Tac au Tac
Juan Fernández has a write-up (with extensive links) to the French TV program from 1969-1975 that brought cartoonists together to engage in improvisational drawing.

The concept was simple, efficient, and allowed for many variations: A huge, blank white page and cartoonists equipped with just a simple marker. A theme was proposed (ex. invasion or pursuit), sometimes a visual starting point (simple line, spiral, circle), and the authors improvised, either collaboratively with their peers, or in a duel facing off against their opponents. The result was often far more than a juxtaposition of drawings, it was often a real visual dialogue between cartoonists.

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Suzy and Cecil – 9-19-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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