Aaron Cockle here today with Davis/Tamaki; Alex Katz in the Subway; Line Hoven & Nora Krug; Ware on Steinberg; CAKE Reminder; Marginalia; NY Times Comics
‘I am constantly bewildered by the juxtapositions of city-life.’
Eleanor Davis in conversation with Jillian Tamaki, in support of Tamaki’s new book, Boundless:
ED: Did you write “World Class City” after you realized you were gonna leave New York?
JT: Oh yes. Definitely. I had always had a very weird, uncomfortable relationship with New York, but it was my home and leaving was very melancholy despite being 100% the right decision.
ED: I read it in the voice of someone who is in love with a thing, but is aware of being in denial about its flaws. A keening sort of mournful love.
JT: Oh, I never fell in love with the place. But, I’m glad. I prefer that, instead of it seeming sarcastic.
ED: How did you decide the images for it?
JT: To be honest, I can feel increasingly confined by the image part of comics. Perhaps because often, for more commercial works, the images need be a lot more literal? I feel like images can “lock” an idea. To depict someone specific can be nice sometimes – the books I do with Mariko are always about specificity of time and place and character. But sometimes it’s nice, when reading prose, to have the ideas and concepts more open. They can feel more universal or possibly even symbolic. So I guess this comic was about trying to stretch that word-image relationship. I don’t want to show you what kind of person thinks this way, acts this way, etc.
‘Lost Romance Will Soon Be at Your Neighborhood Itch.’
Alex Katz with some early-career subway drawings:
Later this month, the Cleveland Museum of Art will mount “Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s,” an exhibition of the paintings that Katz made in the decade after he graduated Cooper Union and spent two influential summers at the Skowhegan School in Maine. “It rolls out of this,” he acknowledges of the work in that show. “I changed styles the minute I got out of school. In a practical sense, it was one of the dumbest things I ever did in my life. I applied for a Fulbright. I had three teachers who gave me A’s on the jury. And one of them said to me: ‘Alex, why did you send this? It’s crap. We couldn’t do a thing for you.’ ”
MFA Visual Narrative and the Goethe-Institut New York present an evening with authors and illustrators Line Hoven and Nora Krug. Hoven and Krug will present their explorations of German identity in their graphic work and discuss ways of weaving the personal, cultural and historical into new forms of storytelling.
Tuesday, June 6, 7-10pm, School of Visual Arts SocDoc Auditorium, 136 West 21 Street, ground floor. Free and open to the public. RSVP here.
‘As a cartoonist myself, I am dismayed that there’s little in the show I can steal…’
Caleb Orecchio linked to this Chris Ware catalog essay for the Along the Lines: Selected Drawings by Saul Steinberg show at the Art Institute of Chicago in yesterday’s newspost, but I wanted to post an excerpt, it’s always nice to see cartoonists writing about other cartoonist’s work:
One can’t overstate the importance of Steinberg’s working for reproduction, of his creating drawings to be disseminated to the mailboxes, laps, and, I guess, bathroom walls, of receptive readers and not, at least initially, to museum walls. The Museum turns on an eminently Steinbergian tool—the rubber stamp—and, as a lithograph, manipulates the idea of reproduction while pictorially lampooning and dissembling it. Identical figures are plunked out to represent visitors and viewers of (what else?) official stamps of approval; over the museum’s horizon, stamps rise like suns, the entire composition grounded and buttressed by illegible signatures and, of course, more stamps. As a visa-seeking emigré in his early life, Steinberg’s fascination with legal seals is easily understandable. Riverfront and Certified Landscape pivot on the objectively ridiculous but fundamentally necessary imprimatur of government made corporeal, territorially imprinted as a skein of walls and fences. Steinberg quietly added his own signature directly into the rather unaccommodating landscapes—are they farms, factories, or concentration camps?—rather than putting it in the traditional antiseptic nonspace outside the pictorial “border.” But in The Museum, Steinberg bundles the stamp’s sanctioning power and aesthetics into the frame of the art itself, stamping his own authorizing red imprimatur in that expected nonspace outside the image, along with his signature (legible, one notes) and, as a digestif, a blind stamp (a stamp without ink, visible by the impression it leaves on the page), just to snuff out any lingering doubt about the drawing’s authenticity and, by proxy, the artist’s own legitimacy.
Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)
Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, 2017
11 am – 6 pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
FREE and open to the public!
Promotional artwork by Anya Davidson.
Marginalia: Open Sessions 10 declares our present geo-political and ideological constructs to be permeable and malleable. The artists in this exhibition view borders and barriers as material through which to build new avenues of both trespass and solidarity. Marginalia features Daniel Bejar, Ana Peñalba, Sue Jeong Ka, Carolyn Lambert, Srinivas Mangipudi, Irini Miga, and Rodrigo Valenzuela.
Drawing is a mode of inquiry throughout the exhibition Valenzuela visualizes the American dream in deserted landscapes; Bejar traverses communities tenuously linked through political maneuvering; Peñalba sketches visionary architecture from the waste of the present; Ka explores the aesthetics of deportation; Miga archives tender and almost unnoticeable gestures; Lambert finds legible marks deep in Arctic ice; and Mangipudi creates notebooks inviting strangers to add their marginalia.
Curated by Lisa Sigal and Nova Benway.
New York Stories
Caleb linked to the New York Times Magazine’s all-comics issue yesterday as well, but it’s definitely worth another look.
A Cosmic Journey – 6-6-2017 – by Cameron Arthur
Suzy and Cecil – 6-6-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 6-6-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio