“BLAB!: A Retrospective” opened August 1, 2008 at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art on the campus of Kansas State University. The exhibition will be on view through November 2, 2008. It is the first American museum exhibition devoted to the work of BLAB!, Monte Beauchamp’s periodic anthology of sequential and comic art, illustration, painting, and printmaking. The exhibition, which focuses on BLAB! #8-18 (1995-2007), features the work of forty-six artists and includes 150 works of art from thirty-nine collections.
This exhibition features an eclectic gathering of stylistically varied work by alternative comics artists, illustrators, graphic designers, printmakers, and painters from BLAB!, the annual anthology of visual art produced by Chicago-based graphic designer and art director Monte Beauchamp.
BLAB! began in 1986 as a self-published fanzine (fan-produced magazine) devoted to MAD magazine and other EC Comics publications. Today it is a significant outlet for a wide variety of contemporary artists. BLAB!‘s influence has cut a broad swath across contemporary visual culture. It has helped launch many artists’ careers. It has introduced American audiences to important contemporary European graphic and comics artists. And, it has contributed meaningfully to the blurring of boundaries between alternative graphics and mainstream illustration. All of the work in this exhibition has been featured in BLAB!.
Artists in exhibition:
Michael Bartalos, Gary Baseman, Richard Beards, Tim Biskup, Stéphane Blanquet, Calef Brown, Greg Clarke, The Clayton Brothers, Sue Coe, Don Colley, Brian Cronin, Nicolas Debon, Douglas Fraser, Drew Friedman, Geoffrey Grahn, Steven Guarnaccia (Illustration Department Chair), Ryan Heshka, Peter Hoey, Tom Huck, Teresa James, Jeffrey Kamberos, Nora Krug (Illustration Department Faculty), Peter Kuper (Illustration Department Alum), Mark Landman, Laura Levine, MATS!?, Walter Minus, Christian Northeast, John Pound, Archer Prewitt, CJ Pyle, Helge Reumann, Xavier Robel, Spain, Jonathon Rosen, Marc Rosenthal, Sergio Ruzzier (Illustration Department Faculty), David Sandlin, Bob Staake, Fred Stonehouse, Mark Todd, Chris Ware, and Esther Pearl Watson.
The accompanying 128-page, full-color catalogue was designed by Monte Beauchamp and contains contributions by David A. Beronä, Mark Frauenfelder, Matt Dukes Jordan, and Bill North.
Sept. 18 – Gallery talk by Bill North, senior curator, Beach Museum of Art, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 – Lecture, “From Highbrow Comics to Lowbrow Art: The Shifting Contexts of the Comics Art Object” by Bart Beaty, noted comics scholar and associate professor of communications studies, Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 – Artist talks by Steven Guarnaccia and Nora Krug, associate professors, illustration department, Parsons: The New School for Design, 5:30 p.m.
You can see installation views on Flickr and grab your own Blab! here.
Blab!: A Retrospective
August 1st-November 2nd, 2008
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
Kansas State University
701 Beach Lane (14th & Anderson Ave.)
Manhattan, KS 66506