Art Trip: In A Series

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Lynda Barry, installation shot from IN A SERIES

The Adam Baumgold Gallery, tucked away in a residential building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is a small gallery that regularly shows the work of comic book artists. Past solo exhibits include Lynda Barry, Charles Burns and Chris Ware. The current exhibit, IN A SERIES (through August 12), includes artwork from these artists and 39 (!) other 20th century and contemporary artists.  IN A SERIES showcases original comics pages, drawings, collages, paintings, sculptures and photographs.

I was drawn to the two large Chris Ware pages (27.5” x 20” each) from Building Stories (Pantheon Graphic Novels, 2012). They looked great in the space – substantial and easy to read from a distance, as if they were made to be hanging on a gallery wall. It was a pleasure to see Ware’s originals with the blue pencil lines that remain under the perfectly inked pages (pictured below).

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Chris Ware, Oak Park Newspaper – 7. Old Friend, Ink, blue colored pencil on paper

It was a treat to see original artwork by Julie Doucet, Lynda Barry and Ernie Bushmiller but my surprise-favorite from the exhibit was the series by Renée French, works from her graphic novel H Day (Picture Box, 2010). The graphite drawings by French are tiny (2.75” x 2.25” each) and perfect (pictured below).

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The challenge of IN A SERIES is the amount of art versus the size of the space. There is a lot of work packed into the two-room gallery, with some pieces placed in window sills and other pieces hung in the narrow hallway connecting the rooms. Despite the challenge, this eclectic group show is worth a visit. It (likely) has something for everybody.

Here’s the line-up:
Lynda Barry, Jennifer Bartlett, Bette Blank, Joe Brainard, Charles Burns, Ernie Bushmiller, Genevieve Castree, Joe Coleman, Robert Crumb, Julie Doucet, Roy Deforest, Marcel Dzama, Rafael Ferrier, Tony Fitzpatrick, Renee French, Sue Gerard, Chester Gould, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Red Grooms, George Grosz, Alex Katz, Edward Koren, Annette Lemieux, Tala Madani, Maryan, Mary Lynn Massoud, Richard McGuire, Jim Nutt, Jennie Ottinger, Christina Ramber, Auri Ramirez, Emile Selder, Seth, Laurie Simmons, William Steig, Saul Steinberg, Chris Ware, John Wesley, David Wajnarowicz, Time Wehrle, B. Wurtz & Joseph Yoakum.

You can see more images from the show on the gallery website, HERE, and visit it in person through August 12th.

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Alyssa Berg makes comics in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her work HERE.

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