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Skip Navigation LinksKCC Home > Art Gallery > The Art of the Editorial Cartoon


 

The Art of the Editorial Cartoon

November 7 - November 28, 2001

Chip Bok
Jim Borgman
Jeff Danziger
Walter Handelsman
Rob Rogers
Mike Smith
Ed Sorel
Jeff Stahler
Ann Telnaes
Signe Wilkinson

The word cartoon derives from the Italian cartone, a drawing used in the preparation of large fresco paintings. Following the invention of the printing press the word expanded in meaning to include both a technical and contextual meaning, as printed line drawings were included in political pamphlets and broadsides, often representing unflattering caricatures of political figures.

Though twentieth century serial comics, and to a greater extent film animation, links the word's primary meaning to children’s entertainment, cartoons used for political commentary have antique origins. Graffiti survives on the ruined walls of ancient Roman buildings, the spontaneity and unofficial technique indicating early attempts to express controversial or irreverent opinion in a public forum. The success of print media eventually legitimized the form, but without diminishing its fundamentally subversive purpose. In today's intensified visual culture the political cartoon remains a firmly established aspect of public discourse.

William Hogarth, the eighteenth century English painter of social satire is credited with establishing the tradition of the political cartoon as we know it today. In the century following Hogarth’s work the editorial cartoon grew exponentially, along with the rapid evolution of the modern newspaper. Well-known nineteenth century examples abound in all varieties. For effectiveness there is John Tenniel’s famous Dropping the Pilot, probably the most reproduced political cartoon in history. And Thomas Nast’s caricature treatment of William "Boss" Tweed is better known today than his racist stereotypes of New York's immigrant population, though both illustrate popular tendencies in the editorial cartoon of the 1800’s. But the cartoonist who best underscores the theme of this exhibit is Honoré Daumier, who was encouraged by nineteenth century poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire to translate his editorial lithographs to canvas, recognizing in Daumier an artist, not just a cartoonist.

The ten artists in this exhibition exemplify the notion that in editorial cartooning the skillful hand of the artist is essential for successful communication, no matter how clever or funny the initial concept. Line drawing continues as the dominant technique. It is extraordinary how each of these artists has developed an utterly unique approach. From Ed Sorel’s densely atmospheric sketching, to Jeff Stahler’s minimal outlines, each displays a personal touch - a unique sensibility that gives their final cartoons a visual immediacy only good drawing can produce.

These are all original works. Look closely and you will see editing with whiteout, lettering attached with Scotch tape, a faint underlying pencil layout, but everywhere the skillful, confident hand and experienced eye of artists.

Peter Malone
curator



Exhibition checklist

Chip Bok

Rocket Science ...
image
ink on bristol 2001

Islam Hijack
ink on bristol 2001


Jim Borgman

The Weakest Link ...
image
ink on bristol 2001

Raunchy TV
ink on bristol 2001


Jeff Danziger

Buffy the Taliban Slayer ...
image
ink, collage, tape, white-out on paper 2001

Its the President Calling from Someplace Safe
ink, collage, tape, white-out on paper 2001


Walter Handelsman

We're Winning, They're Losing ...
image
ink & collage on duoshade 2001


Rob Rogers

Honey, I Shrunk the Surplus ...
ink and white-out on bristol 2001

Moving this Mountain
ink and white-out on bristol 2001


Mike Smith

It's Good to get Back to Normal ...
image
ink on bristol 2001


Ed Sorel


Exegesis, or Realty Reality ... image
ink on paper mounted on board 2001

Saturday
ink on paper mounted on board 2001


Jeff Stahler

I Decided to Knit a Sweater
ink and white-out on bristol 2001

I'm Looking for any Post September 11th Humor ...
image
ink and white-out on bristol 2001


Ann Telnaes

Aim Carefully, Please ...
image
ink and colored pencil on bristol 2001

Study for "Aim Carefully, Please"
ink and colored pencil on paper 2001

Milosevic's Chickens Come Home to Roost
ink and colored pencil on bristol 2001


Signe Wilkinson

You Don't Think We Elected the Wrong Guy, Do You? ...
image
ink on bristol 2001

How Come We Never Know About the People who Do This?
ink on bristol 2001

 

 

 

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