Friday, December 18, 2009

Where's the wind when it isn't blowing?

Political graphic novels from Albrecht Dürer to Art Spiegelman

The graphic novel is the most democratic of all art forms because everyone can "read" and understand it. It presupposes no knowledge of cultural history, familiarity with subject matter, compositional principles, and allegorical content. The comic links individual scenes into a pictorial "text," which does not necessarily say everything but whose interstices can be filled in associatively and by bringing in the person of the viewer to constitute a story. The democratic pictorial understanding innate to the comic, to sequential art, which – despite the name – is not necessarily "comic," encapsulates the pretensions of institutions concerned with communicating art and bridging the gap between art production and the public.

The exhibition assembles an international spectrum of politically motivated sequential art from the invention of printing to the present day. All the works have a decidedly political dimension and they are presented not chronologically but in terms of content. These thematic complexes allow cross-references and allusions beyond the given historical context. The architecture on the upper floor of the Kunstverein specially developed for this exhibition underpins this reference system. The display elements recall the spatial sequences of a comic. Each and every panel is a self-contained unit that nevertheless interchanges with other themes offering cross-links. On the ground floor, Keith Haring's graffiti provide a projection surface for classical presentation.

Ad Reinhardt, Martin Arnold, Gerd Arntz, Ferdinand Barlog, Berthold Bartosch, Harold Begbie / Francis Carruthers Gould, Steve Bell, Shirley Bogart, Stanley Brouwn, Jacques Callot, Clavé / Godard, Edmond Francois Calvo, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sue Coe, M. Philip Copp, Stephen Croall, Robert Crumb, Jari Pekka Cuypers, Honoré Daumier, Lin Da-we, Dave Decat, James Dyrenforth / Max Kester, Walt Disney, Gustave Doré, Albrecht Dürer, Ekkes, Martin Gray, Masist Gül, Will Eisner, Max Ernst, Öyvind Fahlström, Jules Feiffer, Lyonel Feininger, Ari Folman, Jean-Claude Forest, Rube Goldberg, Francisco de Goya, Vernon Greene, Keith Haring, George Herriman, Hergé, Hans Holbein d. J., Paul Hogarth, William Hogarth, Laurence Hyde, Jörg Immendorff, Henri Gustave Jossot, Rolf Kauka, Reinhard Kleist, Joe Kubert, John Leech, Ján Mancuska, Stefan Marx, Frans Masereel, David Mazzucchelli, Winsor McCay, Scott McCloud, Carl Meffert, Alfred von Meysenbug, Jürgen Metz / Charly G. Schütz, Mike Mignola, Henry Moore, Keiji Nakazawa, Otto Neurath, Otto Nückel, Erich Ohser, Michael O' Donoghue, Dan O'Neill, Henrik Olesen, Karl Ewald Olszewski, George Orwell, Richard Felton Outcault, Giacomo Patri, Gladys Parker, Guy Peellaert / Pierre Bartier, Grayson Perry, Raymond Pettibon, Pablo Picasso, Fritz Raab, Alfred Rethel, Henry Ritter, Rius, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, Petr Sadecky, Marjane Satrapi, Gerald Scarfe, Gerhard Seyfried, Ben Shahn, Jim Shaw, Situationistische Internationale, Ernst Scheller, Manfred Schmid, Adolf Schrödter, William Siegel, Otto Soglow, Art Spiegelman, Robert and Philip Spence, Christoph Steinegger, Ernst Steingässer, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Lou Tji-gui, Mathilde ter Heijne, Rodolphe Toepffer, Gary Trudeau, Wang Tschun-bsin / Yang Scha, Félix Vallotton, Lynd Ward, Klaus Wiese / Christian Ziewer, Adolphe Willette, Oscar Zarate etc.

Kunstverein Hamburg
December 19, 2009 - March 14, 2010