Aaron here today with Quimby’s NYC Grand Opening Extravaganza; Philip Guston and the Nixon Years; a review of some Obama Family Comics; Russian Futurist Sound Poems; Kartalopoulos at Angoulême; Festival of the Photocopier; Laura Park; Box Brown Wrestling Comics.
QUIMBY’S BOOKSTORE NYC
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2017, 7–10pm
At 7:00 PM, Steven Svymbersky will give a short slide show talk on the history of zines followed by champagne and hors d’oeuvres. This event is also the opening for the first major survey of works by sculptor and collage artist, Eric Kirsammer.
Quimby’s Bookstore NYC
536 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Guston on Nixon
Hauser & Wirth recently concluded it’s exhibit of Philip Guston‘s work from the 1970’s focusing on Richard Milhous Nixon, former president of the United States.
The New York Times wrote a piece about the show, and Guston’s relationship with Philip Roth:
Mr. Roth owns several of the Nixon drawings. “I always wanted Philip to publish them in a book,” he said. “But he was loath to do that then. He wasn’t sure about whether to go public with them. I think he didn’t want to be sullied as a cartoonist. But actually the people who didn’t like those wonderful last paintings sullied him as a cartoonist anyway.”
Through the ’50s and most of the ’60s, Guston was a leading Abstract Expressionist, greatly admired for the shimmering elegance of his painting. But in the mid-60s, in one of the most famous about-faces in art history, he began to repudiate his own work. “American Abstract art is a lie, a sham, a cover-up for a poverty of spirit,” he wrote. Abandoning abstraction, he started to make paintings that weren’t just figurative but amounted to a catalog of comic-strip crumminess: light bulbs; rusted nails; old shoe soles; hairy legs; hooded, slit-eyed Klansmen smoking fat cigars. The world of Guston eventually came to look, as a number of critics pointed out, a lot like the world of R. Crumb.
‘He doesn’t have a name but his first name is Allergy Doctor’
J. Caleb Mozzocco takes a look at Steven Weissman’s second book chronicling the Obama administration (and family), Looking For America’s Dog, still the most accurate depiction of those times that we are ever likely to see.
The Obama that emerged was maybe the ultimate comics character; after all, there are few figures that are at once as iconic and as protean as our presidents, upon whom we project, well, everything. The President of the United States, any president of the United States, is the Comics Character of a Thousand Faces. (And do note that most newspaper comics characters are confined to a single strip by a single artist or studio, whereas whoever the president is appears in scores of different editorial cartoons by scores of different artists every single day.)
Looking For America’s Dog is similar in format to Barack Hussein Obama, filled with discrete, four-panel gag strips that wind in and out of an overarching quest narrative. And it’s similar in construction; a black-and-white sketchbook comic constructed with judiciously chosen uses of bright color and dialogue balloons with their long, thin tails apparently glued atop the pages. The aesthetic is a peculiar mix of dashed-off and labored-over.
It is also, owing to the fact that it is of course a more recent work, a much more confident and accomplished book, with a much stronger through line: Bumbling Biden left the White House gate open, and America’s dog Bo ran away. (“God Damn You, Joe Biden,” a frustrated president says as he trudges through the snow, calling “Bo-oh!!”)
Zaum, which translates into “beyond the mind”
At Hyperallergic, Claire Voon looks at Russian sound poetry, made available online by the Getty Research Institute, that serves as an interactive companion to Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art, curated by Nancy Perloff.
“Recurring verbal, visual, and vocal references to the folklike and the primitive, reversibility and mirror forms, the fourth dimension, and apocalypse dominate the artistic expression of these books,” as Perloff writes in her introduction. “Moreover, futurist poets and painters intended their books to be heard as well as read.”
Dispatch from France
Bill Kartalopoulos was on the ground at this year’s Angoulême Festival, and posted some great images.
Info about the upcoming Laura Park workshop at the Sequential Artist’s Workshop, February 27 – March 3, 2017.
The Great Sasuke: Japan’s Masked Wrestler Turned Masked Politician
If there was ever a time for some Box Brown Japanese wrestling/politics comics, that time is now.
Suzy and Cecil – 1-31-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 1-31-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio