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DELAWARE ART MUSEUM PRESENTS
ART IN THE ’TOON AGE
Wilmington, DE (March 8, 2007)—The Delaware Art Museum presents Art in the ’Toon Age, an exhibition of nearly 60 paintings, works on paper, and mixed-media pieces, from March 24 through May 13, 2007. This exhibition showcases artists from three generations and eight countries whose bright colors, bold linearity, and shorthand communication devices spring from the cartoon and advertising styles of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as from the post-Pop aesthetics of the later 20th century.
“Art in the ’Toon Age makes you realize what an impression cartoons have made on our collective eye,” said Dr. Mary F. Holahan, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum. “You would never mistake these works for cartoons, but their lively design—and often subversive commentary—definitely come from that visual vocabulary.”
The styles and subjects of Art in the ’Toon Age are individual reactions to a visual culture that has embraced comic strips, cartoons, animation, and commercial art. Commonplace imagery and standardized design have characterized these popular forms of entertainment and commerce since the early 20th century. In the 1960s, Pop art adopted many of the strategies and images of mass-produced images and transformed pop culture into high art.
Artists such as Red Grooms, Ida Applebroog, and John Clem Clarke often implied stories in their comic narratives and paralleled Pop art’s use of commercial culture in the 1960s and ’70s. The 1980s generation, including Luis Cruz Azaceta and Sue Williams, introduced complex themes, including political and personal ones, into their graphic style. The 1990s generation of Laylah Ali, Steve DeFrank, and others is part of a world-wide attraction to a multiplicity of cartoon styles, from Disney to anime.
Some of these artists, ranging in age from 79 to 32, are well known, while others are just beginning to gain recognition. Using spare or decorative line, brilliant or subtle color, explicit or implied story-lines, and often with provocative imagery and subversive humor, they navigate themes of social justice, personal experience, and popular culture.
Also included in the exhibition are historically relevant cartoons, comics, and anime, including works by Disney studios, R. Crumb, Stan Lee, and Otomo Katsuhiro.
This exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum is made possible, in part, by the Emily du Pont Memorial Exhibition Fund.
This exhibition was organized by the Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University. The national museum tour was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles.
’Toon Age Student Day
Saturday, April 14, 2007
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free to teens and college students
The ’Toon Age Student Day will present guided tours of Art in the ’Toon Age and a film series celebrating cartoons of the ’40s and ’50s, including perennial characters such as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck. Visitors will also have an opportunity to meet an up-and-coming regional artist working in the cartoon genre. Ken Castelli, a graduate from St. Mary’s College with a dual degree in History and Art, will discuss his work and inspirations, and offer advice to students pursuing an art career.
This program is included with admission, which is free to teens and college students on this day.
- Cartoon film series from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the DuPont Auditorium
- Artist Ken Castelli from noon to 2:00 p.m.
- Exhibition tours at noon and 2:00 p.m
Meet the Artist—Luis Cruz Azaceta
Friday, May 4, 2007
$15 Non-Members/$10 Members/$5 Students
On the night of Wilmington’s Art on the Town, the artist Luis Cruz Azaceta, whose work Lotto: The American Dream (from the portfolio, 10: Artist as Catalyst), 1992, is featured in Art in the ’Toon Age, will visit the Museum to discuss his art and career. The Art on the Town after party will begin at the Museum at 8:00 p.m. and continue until midnight with a cash bar and music.
Azaceta, who left Cuba at the age of 18, has been influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the Latin American tradition of murals and protest art, and commercial art forms. His painting Oppression, 1984, is part of the Museum’s permanent collection and is currently on display in Gallery 17.
Members of the press are invited to the Delaware Art Museum for a preview of Art in the ’Toon Age on Thursday, March 22, at 10:00 a.m. Please RSVP by Monday, March 18.
About the Museum
The Delaware Art Museum, located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon–4:00 p.m. Regular admission is adults (18–59) $10, seniors (60+) $8, college students $5, and youth (7–17) $3, with children 6 and under entering for free, and admission free to all visitors on Sunday. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll-free), or visit the website at http://www.delart.org.
Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum holds a world-renowned collection that focuses on American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century as well as the British pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century. The Museum offers the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Park, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, studio art classes, the interactive Kids’ Corner learning area, the delART Café featuring free Wi-Fi access, and the Museum Store with distinctive books and gifts.The pre-Raphaelite collection goes back on view to the public on Sunday, September 23, 2007, for The Return of the Pre-Raphaelites.