WHY CALL it "Beyond the Cape!"? Compared to so many other exhibitions around the world about comic books, this unconventional take soars beyond just superheroes. "Beyond the Cape! Comics and Contemporary Art" shows how some of the most currently sought after contemporary artists are influenced by graphic novels and comic books.
The artworks take viewers on a deeper dive into adult realms, tackling some of today's thorniest issues: politics, divisiveness, immigration, racial prejudice, planetary climate change, feminism, LGBTQ rights, religion, and more.
The exhibit features more than 80 works by 40 artists: paintings, video, photography, sculpture, prints, drawings, and tapestries. Rare comics also will be shown, as well as contemporary animation and rarely seen historic cartoons from the early 1900s on vintage TVs.
" 'Beyond the Cape!' delves into the world of comics and graphic novels and their influence on contemporary artists. Their work defies commonalities, but comes together to present a boldly visual, eye-opening mirror of our contemporary world and present issues," says Irvin Lippman, executive director of the Boca Raton (Fla.) Museum of Art.
Elizabeth Murray, for instance, began working with comic imagery in the 1970s, when minimalism dominated the art scene. Her personal, colorful work proved that painting still was relevant and ripe for innovation, and set the stage for a return to figurative work in the 1980s. As a child, she drew from newspaper comic strips, and even sent a sketchbook to Walt Disney.
Kerry James Marshall's work currently is at the very top of the art market. Known for his flat, colorful paintings of contemporary Black America, for the past 20 years he has been working on his comic series "Rythm Mastr" (set in the black community where his Chicago studio is located).
The genesis of "Rythm Mast?' began with the demolition of public housing and the spike of violence in Chicago in the 1990s. He grew up in the Watts area of South-Central Los Angeles, and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements have impacted his work.
Kumasi J. Barnett uses actual comic books in his work to create new characters, such as The Amazing Black-Man. His nine works featured are encased in plastic, the way rare comics are sold.
Looking beyond the 1960s Pop Art movement led by big name New York artists, the exhibition showcases the "other" art movements from the '60s and '70s, such as Bay Area Funk Art and the Chicago Imagists (Jim Nutt...