Indepth Arts News: |
1999-10-08 until 1999-11-05
Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts
USA United States of America
This Morris Gallery exhibition -- the artist's first regional showing in five years
and his first-ever museum effort -- will include over fifty drawings, prints,
posters, books, and objects, including a remarkable cabinet of curiosities
from the artist's personal collection.
Charles Burns (b. 1955), the Philadelphia-based graphic artist internationally
known for his illustrations, comics, and books, is a graduate of The Evergreen
State College (B.F.A., 1977) and the University of California, Davis (M.F.A.,
1979). In 1993 he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Burns's work is characterized by a hard-edged, high-contrast graphic style
and apocalyptic subject matter. Dark, funny, and disturbing, his gothic
imagery and texts are emblematic of our millenial age. With sources ranging
from classic children's books to the popular culture of his youth, this
multitalented artist captures the daily perversities and transgressions wrought
by the contemporary psyche.
One of the leading figures of the current comix movement, an avant-garde art form associated with
counter-cultural talents R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman, among others, Burns was an early and regular contributor
to RAW, the critically acclaimed magazine co-founded and edited by Spiegelman. Burns's provocative work also
has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. His
books include Big Baby: Curse of the Molemen, Skin Deep, Blood Club, and the ongoing Black Hole series.
In addition, the artist has worked in the theater and cable television. In 1991, Burns served as concept and set
designer for the Mark Morris Dance Company's production of The Hard Nut, a contemporary ballet based on
Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite. One year later, a live-action version of one of his comic-book characters,
Dog Boy, was serialized on MTV's Liquid Television.
Organized by Chief Curator Sylvia Yount, this exhibition represents a mini-retrospective of the work of Charles
Burns, who will give a gallery talk at the Academy on Wednesday, October 13 at 12:15 p.m. A special $3 rate
for this program includes Museum admission.