The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Comics unmasked, the UK's biggest comic book exhibition, opens at the British Library
A copy of the violent gang-based "Kids Rule OK!" comic is displayed at the "Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK" exhibition at the British Library in central London on May 1, 2014. Running from May 2 to August 19, the exhibition is the largest of it's type in the UK. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal.
LONDON.- Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK opened today, offering the first chance to see the British Library’s extensive comic book collection on display alongside original artwork and scripts loaned from such names as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, China Mieville and Mark Millar. From the 1825 Glasgow Looking Glass, thought to be the first ever comic, to Judge Dredd’s helmet from the recent film adaptation of the 2000AD Judge Dredd series, the exhibition traces a long and tumultuous history of the British comic book.

Highlights of the exhibition also include an example of a medieval ‘comic’ from 1470, Apocalypse, a ventriloquist dummy of Ally Sloper, one of the earliest comic strip characters, 70’s underground comics tried at court for obscenity, such as Oz which is accompanied by a previously unheard recording of the Oz trial itself, as well as 21st century material, including original artwork and manuscripts of the likes of Kick-Ass, Sandman and Batman and Robin, and Keaton Henson’s 2012 doll’s house installation, Gloaming, adapted specially for the show.

Showing how the form has broken boundaries over centuries, the exhibition explores many comics and graphic novels which unflinchingly address issues around such challenging themes as sex, violence, race and drugs, but also the inspiration and context behind them. The exhibition looks at intriguing historical figures, from 19th century occultist, magician and writer Aleister Crowley, whose original tarot card painting of ‘The Universe’, on loan from The Warburg Institute, is on display in the UK for the first time since its initial presentation in the 1930s, to H P Lovecraft to Punch and Judy.

Curated by comic creator John Harris Dunning and leading UK expert Paul Gravett, working with Adrian Edwards, the British Library’s Head of Printed Historical Sources, the exhibition displays over 200 exhibits and uses newly commissioned artwork by celebrated comic book artist Dave McKean, the show’s artistic director.

Dave McKean, the artist behind Batman: Arkham Asylum, is just one example of the many British comic creators championed in the exhibition. Showing how British artists and writers have had a huge impact on the industry, Comics Unmasked includes personal loans of original scripts and artwork for British triumphs, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Tank Girl, Sandman, as well as examples of how British comic creators have subverted typically American super heroes, like Batman and Superman, and of course politicians and public figures.

Curators John Harris Dunning and Paul Gravett also aim to deconstruct comic books for a wider audience. As part of this idea the Library has recorded a day in the life of four important comic book artists as they work in their studios, including Isabel Greenberg and Posy Simmonds, which appear as life size projections in the show.

John Harris Dunning, co-curator of the show, says: “We hope that this show will stimulate creative disobedience and throw down the gauntlet to young creators – as well as show audiences, who perhaps have not read comics before, what a diverse and exciting medium they are. The demystification of the process of creating comics is a key part of this exhibition, with once in a lifetime opportunities to see original artwork and scripts from comics greats.”

Adrian Edwards, Head of Printed Historical Sources at the British Library, says: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the tradition of British comics with this landmark exhibition. Few realise how far back the form goes and the Library’s collections are unrivalled.”

Paul Gravett, co-curator of the show, says: “Much more than childhood nostalgia, comics are a powerful adult medium which can reflect and impact on society and change's people minds and lives. From the very start, comics have been cross-pollinating with movies, music, theatre and all the other media and today are on the cutting-edge of digital storytelling and multi-media installation art.”

At a time when digital comics have never been more popular the Library has worked with webcomic pioneer, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and digital graphic novel company Sequential to display digital comics and graphic novels around the exhibition, allowing visitors to explore the content further and see the culture shift in the industry. Among the webcomics curated by Daniel is Club Salsa, a 1996 (now fabled) comic, defunct for years, which has been restored for the exhibition.

Renowned artists and writers in the events in the Comics Unmasked season include Bryan and Mary Talbot (2 May), Neil Gaiman with Tori Amos (16 May), Woodrow Phoenix and others (23 May) Dave McKean’s Nine Lives (6-7 June), Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis and others on superheroes (16 June), Melinda Gebbie (3 July), Alejandro Jodorowsky (4 July), Pat Mills, Dave Gibbons and Frazer Irving on 2000AD (9 July), Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton plus those involved in the ‘Oz Trial’ (14 July), Posy Simmonds and Steve Bell (18 July) and Bryan Lee O’Malley (15 August).

Parental guidance is advised for visitors under 16 years of age due to the explicit nature of some of the exhibits on display. Within the exhibition, there is a section examining sexual themes which visitors can by-pass if they wish.



Today's News

May 4, 2014

Comics unmasked, the UK's biggest comic book exhibition, opens at the British Library

Andrew Wyeth's window paintings showcased for the first time at the National Gallery of Art

Sotheby's to offer two centuries of British landscape painting from the collection of Christopher Cone

Sotheby's Private Sales and Contemporary Gallery offers three blockbuster shows

Major gift from Adrienne Arsht to support innovative "Met Museum Presents"

Storm King Art Center presents a major exhibition of work by contemporary artist Zhang Huan

Gucci announced as new associate sponsor of Frieze Masters and partner for Frieze Masters Talks

Blum & Poe opens New York gallery space with exhibition of works by Mark Grotjahn

Exhibition at Bruce Silverstein offers a dialogue between August Sander / Bernd and Hilla Becher

Exhibition by Peter Fischli and David Weiss transforms Sprüth Magers' Berlin gallery space

The Hepworth Wakefield announces the appointment of Jane Marriott as Deputy Director

Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2014: Online art market now worth an estimated $1.57bn

Solo exhibition of paintings by Shirley Kaneda opens at Galerie Richard in New York

Exhibition of new works by Huma Bhabha opens at VW (VeneKlasen/Werner)

A multi-estates auction featuring 400 fresh to the market lots will be sold by Matheson's Auctions

Lee Kit's second solo exhibition in New York on view at Lombard Freid Gallery

Czar Nicholas II 25 Roubles sets record at Heritage's CICF Auction

A major survey exhibition of painting by Ansel Krut opens at Jerwood Gallery

Solo exhibition of Dutch artist Hannah van Bart opens at Marianne Boesky Gallery

First New York solo show of artist Katja Loher opens at C24 Gallery

Exhibition of new mixed media paintings by aritst Paul Gillis opens at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

Adam McEwen's first solo exhibition at Capitain Petzel opens in Berlin

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site