“Timely and Timeless: New Comic Art Acquisitions” opens at Library of Congress today.
Michael Cavna's article in The Washington Post below:
There’s nothing, Martha Kennedy enthuses, quite like seeing great comic art in person, nose to frame, pupils to paper.
“Viewers can get up close to see how [the artists] use line color, brush, pen and ink, gouache, pastel...,’ says Kennedy, dwelling a moment, lovingly, on the sound of each medium.
She has every right to be excited. Today, the Library of Congress opens its new exhibit, “Timely and Timeless,” which features four-dozen of the many comic works that the institution has acquired over the past decade.
The works range from caricature to comic strip, magazine illustration to graphic novel. And among the artists represented are past masters Honoré Daumier and James Gillray; “Spider-Man” co-creator Steve Ditko; “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder and “Zippy the Pinhead’s” Bill Griffith ; the New Yorker’s Charles Addams and Roz Chast ; entertainment caricaturist Al Hirschfeld; civil-rights era artistOliver Wendell Harrington; and such Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonists as Tony Auth and The Post’s Ann Telnaes.
“We were trying as a team to do justice to the amazing variety and quality of our comic acquisitions,” says Kennedy, curator of the exhibit, ”and to try to encompass the major genres of comic art.
“We wanted to create an eye-catching assemblage with all these,” continues Kennedy, who estimates that the library has more than 128,000 comic artworks in its vast collection.
Here is a sampling of the works on display in “Timely and Timeless,” a title that Kennedy says refers both to how keenly some of these works reflect their eras, as well as to the timelessness of the virtuosic pieces. (And no, she adds, no punning allusion to Timely Comics is intended.)
The exhibit at the Graphic Arts Galleries (10 First St. SE) is free and runs through March 10.
(India ink over graphite underdrawing.)
SIR JOHN TENNIEL:
(Watercolor and gouache on paper; 1870.)
(Watercolor, ink and graphite.)
(Ink over graphite underdrawing with paste-on.)
(Watercolor and ink over graphite underdrawing.).
(Brush and ink over graphite underdrawing.)
(Watercolor and ink with graphite.)
(Brush and ink.)
Danziger used pencil, ink and photocopying techniques to comment on China’s “dependence on pollution-causing coal” in 2007.
(Ink with graphite and opaque white on paper.)
UPDATE: You can read more about the exhibition on the "We Come From the Future" blog.