Comics exhibit pulls viewers into real and alternate worlds

 

 

Ivan Brunetti Spring 2013 . (Courtesy of the artist)'
Ivan Brunetti Spring 2013 . (Courtesy of the artist)’

A fun and startling exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, opened June 2021, is likely to expand your definition of art and important artists.

As with art over the ages and across countries, much of it reflects the times and artists’ views and backgrounds.

But if you hadn’t thought of comics as art, consider the work of Ivan Brunetti in the 1960’s. His piece shown here  was in the New Yorker magazine. It stands on its own as art but really is part of a cartoon.

So, if you read the New Yorker or a newspaper containing comics do you look just at the panels or do you look to see who drew them?

The MCA exhibit, titled “Chicago Comics: 1960’s to Now,”  makes comics more personal by focusing on  artists with ties to Chicago.

 

The works of more than 40 cartoonists from about the 1960’s to the present cover the walls and tables of MCA’s Fourth Level exhibition space including that of  Lynda Barry, Lilli Carré, Daniel Clowes, Nick Drnaso, Edie Fake, Emil Ferris, Nicole Hollander, Charles Johnson, Chris Ware and Kerry James Marshall. Yes, Marshall, a  world-renown Chicago artist.

Kerry James Marshall (photo by Bryan Conley, Image courtesy of the artist)
Kerry James Marshall (photo by Bryan Conley, image courtesy of the artist)

His works are in major museums from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Met and MoMA.

The MCA exhibit includes more than a dozen of his comics from the Rythm Mastr Daily Strips. They were part of a 57th Carnegie International installation  (2018) courtesy to the MCA by the artist.

What fanzine viewers and Marvel comics readers know is that artistic cartoons take many forms. In the MCA exhibit look for more than newspaper-style comics. See works in graphic novels,  drawings, dioramas, zines, commissioned films, books sculptures and installations.

Brunetti, New Yorker, Photo courtesy of the artist)
Brunetti, New Yorker, Photo courtesy of the artist)

 

To see a Marvel exhibit go to the Museum of Science and Industry through Oct. 24, 2021.

For the MCA exhibit information and tickets visit Museum of Contemporary Art  “Comics” continues through Oct. 3, 2021.

As to the Brunetti piece it is a comic  cover for the New Yorker, a magazine famous for its cartoons.

Save time to also visit “Chicago – Where Comics Came to Life: 1880 to 1960” at the Chicago Cultural Center. Held up on the fourth floor in the Sydney Yates Gallery,  the exhibit is the perfect companion piece to that at the MCA.

Jodie Jacobs

 

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