Comic Fine Art by Chris Ware
posted: July 23, 2006
Stumbled by complete and happy accident into the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art where the second floor was dedicated to exhibiting the original comic pages of Chris Ware. Made me immediately think about Roy Lichtenstein - half a century ago, basically recreating comic book panels and having them widely regarded as fine art. Struck me as a bit amusing that it took another half century for actual comic panels to be regarded the same way. Don't know if it was because of the Ware exhibition or not, but the gift shop was awash in contemporary illustrator/artist wares from the likes of Baseman and Biskup. It's probably remarkably uncool, but I've posted a photo gallery of shots taken (mostly) by my son, John Z. during our Chicago trip.
Elwood H. Smith July 24, 2006
Hey, Zimm- As I mentioned in my blog article "Cartoon Rube at the Reubens!", Maggie and I were in Chicago over the Memorial Day Weekend and we also stumbled into the Chris Ware show at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I wrote: "We all stood in awe of Chris Ware's lonely, beautifully drawn world" and that was probably an understatement. Aren't those huge drawings amazing? And that tiny lettering. I find Ware's work in print very difficult to see--too much stuff reduced down to microscopic size--but when viewed as he drew the pages, they are completely accessible. One day, maybe someone will reproduce his pages actual size. Maggie took a pic of those giant water-spouting panels by Jaume Plensa. Her pics, like John's, don't begin to show the wonderfully, weird, engaging effect they have when you are actually standing there before them. The thing that I enjoyed the most about the installations was watching the kids' joy as they waited for and then ran under the spouting water, all the while, sliding across the water-slicked surfaces. Great fun. -E
Robert Saunders July 24, 2006
Wish I were near to Chicago, Zimm. I love Ware's work, and can stand in the Brookline Booksmith for hours browsing through books of his stuff. I was pissed when the NYT Mag discontinued his funny page. What's up with that?