Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Exhibit: Entering the World of Comics at the AGO!

Art Gallery of Ontario's Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective Review

During a day off two weeks ago, I spent the afternoon at the AGO, letting myself get a good dose of some Art Therapy. I reacquainted myself with some favourite pieces of art and was introduced to some new and exciting ones, which included a visit to the Art Spiegelman exhibit.

Cover Art, Print Magazine, May-June 1981 from Art Spiegelman's CO-Mix: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps
Cover art, Print magazine, May-June 1981
I have to admit, I don't know much about comics and graphic novels and I can count on one hand how many I have read. But after visiting Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective, I am inclined to take another look at the graphic novel section in my next bookstore visit.

Art Spiegelman's CO-Mix: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO

Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, cover, short order cook, no.1, 1972
Cover art, Short Order Comix no.1, 1972
Spiegelman is probably best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning Maus - a two volume graphic novel that recounts the horrific experiences of Nazi occupation and Auschwitz. The stories are based on Spiegelman's own fathers' experiences, who survived the death camp along with Spielgelman's mother.

Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, cover, first edition, 1991
Cover art, Maus II, first edition, 1991
Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, studies, final mauscript, survivors tale
 Studies and Final Manuscript of Maus II, A Survivors Tale: And Here My Troubles Began, 1985-91
There are ten different themed sections, and Maus takes up the most space. One wall is covered in the entire manuscript of Maus II, A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began. It was a little overwhelming.

Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, abstract thought is a warm puppy, homage to charles schulz, febraury 14, 2000
Abstract Thought is a Warm Puppy, homage to Charles Schulz, The New Yorker, February 14, 2000
Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, cover, february 15, 1993
Cover art for Valentine's Day, The New Yorker, February 15, 1993
Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX: A Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, graphic novels, The New Yorker, Maus, Comic books, drawings, pulitzer prize, ontario, canada, the purple scarf, melanie.ps, AGO, cover, ground zero, in the shadow of no towers
L: Cover art for Ground Zero, The New Yorker, September 24, 2001; R: Art for endpapers and backcover, In The Shadow of No Towers, 2004
The exhibit starts off with Spiegelman's early comic book work and then follows his 50 year-plus career, including Maus and his time at The New Yorker. For any comic book or graphic novel lover, this show is a must see. For the rest of us, I still recommend it, if only to visit the Maus section. It is, arguably, one of the greatest works of the 20th century. I highly recommend reading Maus before you visit, to get a better understanding of the exhibit. And be prepared to be there a while, if you read every speech bubble drawn. Art Spiegelman's CO-Mix: A Retrospective runs until March 15, 2015.

P.s!: This exhibit, as well as Art as Therapy, is included in general admission, which means they're free on Wednesday nights!

P.s,
Melanie!

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