Aaron here today with E.A. Bethea; Aidan Koch; Kara Walker; Thierry Groensteen; Connor Willumsen
Bethea, a simple interpretation might offer, chronicles the web of living in the world (and with her work, we are zeroed in on life in New York City, as this collection reveals itself as a truly local work of art about a city that paradoxically rarely receives its due—for every 1,000 works that gloss over the truth of the city, we have a book like this that has its eye on the reality of daily life in the five boroughs) with a heart and a mind sometimes at odds and sometimes simpatico. But Bethea gives us something more complex: at times, the work feels dead-pan as it shifts from exhilaration to resignation without a change in visual presentation, but it’s here where we have a guide to the heart of Bethea’s project. The often uniform nature of the pages and the highly non-uniform nature of what is contained within become a catalog of days or weeks or years. One page offers a subdued period in life, while the next (seemingly) similar page offers a day full of regret. Bethea talks about her work relating to cinema, specifically calling attention to what happens between one of her panels and the next. The shifts in emotion and carefully chosen images alongside highly precise language feel like walking into a film where the entire crew–from director to actor to gaffer—united in one mind to make something highly exquisite.
In Search Of
OCTOBER 20 – NOVEMBER 19, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 6–9 PM
AIDAN KOCH • DAWIT L. PETROS
Transmitter is pleased to present In Search Of, an exhibition pairing the work of Aidan Koch and Dawit L. Petros, two artists who, despite their disparate media, take related approaches to pictorial space in order to create open-ended narratives, notable as much for the space within them as for the connections between different moments. Taking its title from Bas Jan Ader’s In Search of the Miraculous, this exhibition considers these artists’ work in terms of questions and histories of migration, and the search, whether for the sublime or for survival, which underlies human movement. In addressing these issues, Koch and Petros both make significant use of abstraction, and range in their interests from a mythological past to the factual present, and beyond, to the possible future.
‘A prominent critic posted on Instagram that they felt “uncomfortable” being in the room, perhaps a desired effect of the artist.’
Jessica Bell Brown at Hyperallergic takes another look at the Kara Walker show that recently closed:
Ironically, most of the works in Walker’s show will go to museums that will proudly collect them, while for the sake of political neutrality many will likely remain timid when the time comes to roll up their sleeves and speak truth to power. As difficult and divisive as her images are, they point to a reckoning that we can no longer afford to ignore. Racism will remain inseparable from America’s history, its present, and its future. It penetrates every crevice and corner of our institutions, and pervades every fiber of our collective being. Walker’s work does not signal an impending culture war; it is a reminder that the previous ones never ended.
‘Overall, I’m glad this book exists.’
Nick Mullins on Ann Miller’s translation of Thierry Groensteen’s COMICS AND NARRATION:
The other major theme in this book, which I briefly mentioned above, is rhythm. Groensteen mostly discusses panel layout, but also considers how words affect rhythm. While I liked this, I wished that he had gone further. Layout creates rhythm of course, but so does the relative visual density of the panels. So does the amount of time in the intervened. As I showed above, Groensteen hints at this possibility. Again, the fact the Jason chooses to end his page with a panel that implies a longer space of intervened time creates a change in rhythm to the end of the page. If Groensteen didn’t say this explicitly, he pointed the way. In other words, he has invited us to continue where he left off, which is one of the great gifts of well-written theory.
Anti-Gone En Plein Air
Connor Willumsen provides some insights (‘Cartooning is a lot like magic’, ‘Sometimes I ask myself, why would I want to be a cartoonist?’) in this new video, published by Koyama Press 2017, directed by Fatine-Violette Sabiri.
Get a copy of Anti-Gone, along with two zines – a 20 page bootleg, and a special collage zine – as well as a unique Anti-Gone drawing, as part of the exclusive Connor Willumsen bundle from Comics Workbook – available HERE.
Brian Nicholson reviews Anti-Gone, calling it the “book of the year”.
Suzy and Cecil – 10-17-2017 – by Gabriella Tito