Julie Doucet; L. Nichols; Best American Comics; Richard McGuire; Everything is Connected at the Met Breuer; Art in Brussels
By the end of Dirty Plotte, the panels become increasingly dense and claustrophobic—beautifully so, but a trap all the same. The imposition of the rules of comics come to a head: clear, pure storytelling, the same character over and over, refine-refine-refine your style—a far remove from the infinitely open plane Doucet grafted onto the medium when Plotte began. An author of endless skill, she observed these principles and easily mastered them. Could the wide canvas of the early issues have been similarly exhausted?
The Best American Comics 2018
Panel discussion at Strand Book Store, NYC, Wednesday, October 3, 7pm
“I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics language today. Join us as panelist Bill Kartalopoulos, Julia Gfrörer, Julian Glander, Kevin Hooyman, and Julia Jacquette talk about this year in comics.
Richard McGuire: Art for the Street – 1978-1982
September 27 – November 4, 2018; Opening: Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-8 pm
Alden Projects, 34 Orchard Street, NYC
“A shadow is a strong and simple graphic,” McGuire explains. “The titles evolved from a Burroughs-esque cut-up method — just grabbing selected phrases that caught my ear. I would make lists. Later, I made a stencil. I would see what worked best with that image as a ‘sound picture’.” Incorporating cryptic phrases such as “Moved Then Set on Fire” (1979); “Holes and Corners” (1980); “Doubles are Inevitable” (1980); and “Different Nervous Rhythms (1981); McGuire’s Ixnae Nix drawings transmogrify the layout and content of quotidian newspapers into personalized tabloids in which the central silhouette appears with “a crypto-mystical graphic style, a great touch,” to borrow Glenn O’Brien’s 1981 praise in Interview magazine. The stream-of-consciousness poetics of McGuire’s Ixnae Nix drawings share explicit aesthetic dialogue with Basquiat and his early poetics, but later, these conversations arguably go both ways. McGuire’s Incident Instantly Becomes Memory , to name one, shared a pivotal stage with Basquiat, Haring, and others at the New York / New Wave show, curated by Diego Cortez at P.S. 1, Queens in 1981, and clearly anticipates some of Basquiat’s later pictorial developments. The Ixnae Nix drawings also confabulate with Keith Haring’s early street-based work, particularly with the latter’s Xeroxed collages of cut-up newspaper headlines, which he began in 1980. McGuire stopped his wheatpasting activities in early 1981—around the same time that Haring first began making chalk drawings in the subway.
The first half of the exhibition comprises works by artists who hew strictly to the public record, uncovering hidden webs of deceit—from the shell corporations used by New York’s largest private landlord, interconnected networks encompassing politicians, businessmen, and arms dealers. In the second part, other artists dive headlong into the fever dreams of the disaffected, creating fantastical works that nevertheless uncover uncomfortable truths in an age of information overload and weakened trust in institutions.
09-25-2018 – by Niall Breen