Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Roy Lichtenstein Used Comics

Paul Gravett discusses it, here.

From the post...

The eager embrace of Pop Art is clear from this effusive editorial in SMASH! No. 79 in August 1967:
“All of a sudden (after years of incredible neglect by some eggheads who should have known better) comics are the ‘IN’ thing!! You can see what we mean all around you! The design of up-to-the-minute posters and advertisements, the editorial pages of the big, glossy magazines… all are ‘switched on’ to comic-style art and illustration, to the comic-style use of ‘speech balloons’ to put across the message! And that’s not all! Serious pop art painters find their inspiration from such sources as the ‘good ol’ Power Pack’! The Tate Gallery (and you can’t get much more high-brow than that) recently purchased a high-priced painting by American artist Lichenstein [sic] called ‘WHAAM!’ which is based on a section of an adventure comic strip! That’s the way it is today! Everyone’s getting the message! Comics are FUN! Comics are STYLISH! Comics are TREND! We could have told them a long time ago, right? But isn’t it nice? ... knowing that WE’VE been on the swinging wavelength all along!”

Those celebrations were somewhat premature. Not everyone has tuned into that ‘swinging wavelength’ quite yet! There have been significant advances, of course, within the art world. Just look at those recent solo exhibitions of Moebius, Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman in major galleries in Paris, Daniel Clowes getting a retrospective at Oakland’s Museum of California, and the Louvre presenting specially commissioned artworks by Enki Bilal. For a few years now, every issue of ArtReview magazine has commissioned a new two-page comic. Tate Publishing itself is bringing out its first graphic novel this month, the astonishing Ambedkar: The Fight for Justice, originally released in India.

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