Comic Abstraction: Image Breaking, Image Making
Foreword by Glenn D. Lowry. Text by Roxana Marcoci.
In recent years, a number of artists have abstracted images culled from slapstick, comic strips and films, cartoons and animation into a new representational mode to address perplexing issues about war and global conflicts, the loss of innocence and ethnic and cultural stereotyping. From Julie Mehretu’s intricately layered paintings and Arturo Herrera’s psychological collages made of Walt Disney coloring books to Ellen Gallagher’s seductively Minimalist paintings, permeated by “blackface” signs culled from minstrel performances, to Rivane Neuenschwander’s wiped-out cartoon characters, the world of comic abstraction reflects the intensely personal relationship that many contemporary artists maintain with political currents. This publication, which accompanies a Spring 2007 exhibition of the same name at The Museum of Modern Art, presents the first major investigation into this new model of representation. It features recent work by 13 artists and a selection of 30 large-scale works and installations that bridge the rift between abstraction and comics in ways that are at once critical and playful. It also includes a critical essay, interviews with the artists, and a selected exhibition history and bibliography. Features work by Polly Apfelbaum, Inka Essenhigh, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera, Michel Majerus, Julie Mehretu, Juan Muñoz, Takashi Murakami, Rivane Neuenschwander, Philippe Parreno, Gary Simmons, Franz West and Sue Williams.