Silent Witnesses: Graphic Novels Without Words
Curated by Darren Diss
Venue: Danes Terrace
29 May 2010 to 30 Aug 2010
Admission price: free
Artists include: Lars Arrhenius, Hendrik Dorgathen, Eric Drooker, Max Ernst, Matt Forsythe, Alexandra Higlett, Laurence Hyde, Jason, Andrzej Klimowski, Peter Kuper, Chris Lanier, Frans Masereel, Otto Nuckel, Shaun Tan, Zoe Taylor, Lynd Ward, Sara Varon and Jim Woodring.
This exhibition brings together the work of internationally recognised artists and illustrators from around the world working in Graphic Novel form. Spanning publications from the early twentieth century to the present day, the works contained in the exhibition are distinct in that all use the capacity of images alone to communicate narrative, functioning entirely without the use of text.
The exhibition celebrates the book form and in particular the Graphic Novel as an increasingly popular medium for artists and explores its enduring appeal to readers of all ages. By focussing on works without text it examines the underlying structure and mechanics of developing a Graphic Novel, exposing it as a unique art form. It looks at the Novel in the true sense, as an extended sequence conveying a narrative. The show includes preparation and working drawings, writings, flat plans, sketch books and character studies and associated works alongside complete book-works to reveal the various developmental stages in creating a Graphic Novel.
The exhibition combines works from a wide range of cultural contexts, from modern popular Graphic Novels, with scratchboard images by Eric Drooker produced for his novel ‘Flood’, to woodcuts by Frans Masereel for his his 1925 work ‘Die Stadt’, to original drawings by Sara Varon for her well loved books, ‘Sweater Weather’, ‘Robo and Hund’ and ‘Chicken and Cat’. Also in the show will be a large scale flat-print version of ‘A-Z’ by Lars Arrhenius, a novel produced on the iconic A-Z map of London. Shown in print form it allows the viewer to scan the intersecting narratives sewn through the map in a single image, creating ever new readings.
Works for the exhibition have been loaned to The Collection from the British Museum, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Klinspor Museum, Offenbach, Scott Eder Gallery, New York, and from the exhibiting artists.
The show’s curator, Darren Diss, is an established illustrator and Senior Lecturer in Illustration at The University of Lincoln. He has a specialist academic research interest in Textless Narratives.