- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - Comic books and cartoons are the inspiration for the upcoming exhibit “Pulp Art: Out of the gutter and on the walls” at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany.

“It’s not exactly comic book art,” said Carnegie Curator Daniel Pfalzgraf, “But the work is all contemporary fine art that has been influenced by comic books and cartoons. It’s still very much fine art that you’d see in museums and galleries.”

“Some of them will use graphic outlines, or a style and technique that mimics comic styles,” he said. “When you look at it you’ll see how they’re influenced.”

While all of the art is comic-inspired, not all of the art in the show is two-dimensional.

“There is a ceramicist with three-dimensional work,” Pfalzgraf said. “But it’s clearly influenced by comics.”

The 10 artists in the exhibit are Kerry James Marshall (Chicago), Joel McDonald (Louisville), Andrei Molotiu (Bloomington), Yoko Molotov (Louisville), Niagara (Detroit), Robert Pruitt (Houston), Seth Scantlen (Brooklyn), Malcom Mobutu Smith (Bloomington), Brett Spencer (Savannah, Ga.) and Fred Stonehouse (Madison, Wisc.).

As he likes to do, Pfalzgraf is mixing local artists with larger, national artists.

“The biggest one by far is Kerry James Marshall,” he said. “He just had a major retrospective put on together with the Museum of Contemporary Art and The Met in New York. I feel pretty proud to be able to show a work by him.”

Pulp in the exhibit’s title refers to cheaply produced magazines made from low-grade newsprint, a format used by most comic books because of their disposable nature.

Gutter refers to the space between comic panels. The space is small, but the visual and mental impact is significant.

“Pulp art was exactly that - newsprint, throw-away,” said Al Gorman, coordinator of public programs and Engagement for the Center. “Now it’s gone way beyond. People had looked at it for entertainment and now it’s a billion dollar industry.”

The art form is exploding.

“I was just thinking about all these Marvel movies that have come out,” Pfalzgraf said. “It’s interesting how much it’s blown up in the last few years especially. I wanted to trace its origins and explore that in contemporary art.”

Comics have been around as long as there has been paper, but comic books as we know them really evolved in the mid-1930 with arcing story lines too large for the daily newspaper.

By the 1960s, artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol were incorporating images from comic books into their art. At the same time, Artists like Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and Francois Mouly were exploring darker, more adult themes in their underground comic books, or comix.

All of the artists in “Pulp Art” came of age as the public’s interest in pop culture and low art forms was growing.

“I think there will be a lot of interest in this exhibit,” Pfalzgraf said. “I like breaking down barriers so people don’t feel there has to be some kind of elitism to contemporary fine art. It’s not just for people who have studied it or gone to school for it.”

Four events will augment the exhibit, starting with an opening reception Friday, May 12 from 6 to 8 pm with music provided by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet. Participating artist Yoko Molotov with conduct a drawing workshop May 27 at 11a.m.

On June 1 Paul LePree, owner of Louisville’s Ultra Pop!, will give a presentation on his trip to Japan titled “Ultra Paul Japan Tour.”

“He is in Japan right now, right in the heart of anime and manga,” said Gorman. “What he does in his store is very specialized. He says his shop is curated, which I find really interesting.”

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Source: (Jeffersonville) News and Tribune, https://bit.ly/2pEfy1M

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com


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