Comics’ influence on contemporary art
Exhibition project “After the Comics” is a research of how contemporary art borrows and employs various stylistic devices and features from comics. The exhibition also sheds light on the topic of interpenetration of various art genres using as an example the synthesis of graphic novels, painting and new media
Born in the early XX century in America, mass market focused comics or picture stories rapidly conquered their fans and became a huge part of creative industry. An alternative variation to comic strips appeared in Europe in the 60s and gradually spread throughout the world. France invented a genre of graphic novel, as well as the auteur comics which were published in very limited editions. Both in France and Belgium comics became considered the ninth art form. The genre of printed drawn narrations slowly penetrates into the “high art” and such well-known artists of the twentieth century as Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol widely use the technique. Pop art quotes mainstream comics, emphasizing its impersonality. Artistic comics, on the contrary, take a firm position in the closed sphere of art with the help of gifted authors, whose works in print media got appreciated on a par with their graphics. At the same time, comics are still not considered a serious cultural phenomenon in Russia.
On one hand, the exhibition “After the comics” analyzes how comics techniques and methods were borrowed by contemporary art. But on the other hand, it is a creative experiment that encourages Russian artists to use graphic language in their works.
Among the participants of the project there are such famous artists who work in comics technique as George Ostretsov, Georgy Litichevskiy and Yuri Alexandrov. A significant part of the exhibition is a 21-meter long canvas “SuperAndersen” by Georgy Litichevsky. The exhibition also displays works by a French artist Jochen Gerner. The author created a series of hand-made redraws of famous comics fragments, presenting his own vision of the graphic stories. There is also a number of artists specifically invited to take part in the project, they are Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Dmitriy Shagin, Vasiliy Florenskiy, Olga Kroitor, Arkadiy Nasonov, Alexander Petrelli, Vladimir Grig, Vasiliy Golubev, Nikolay Vasilev, Alexey Semichev, Andrey Kuzmin, Nikolay Kopeikin, Stanislav Kazimov, Kirill Miller, Irina Vasilieva, Stas Bags, Alexey Chizhov and Ivan Sotnikov. Each of them has prepared a new painting created in an alien to Russian art tradition of comics.