The Birth of Quill

March 29th, 2010

Your "Peace" in the Show: Joe Flood with Keith Mayerson

Curated by artists’ artist Keith Mayerson, the neo-NeoIntegrity (or post-NeoIntegrity) migrates from Chelsea to SoHo, where, 15-20 years ago, it would have been in the capitol of the art world.  The first incarnation at Derek Eller Gallery in 2007 felt like the Justice League Satellite, a zero-gravity chamber of unimpeachable art that surely anticipated Reporta Smith’s recent summoning for “art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand.”  And this show does, too.

Inside the gallery at MoCCA (the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art), the show seems as far from Chelsea as Narnia, Gotham City, or Krypton, despite the presence of the Chelsea canonized Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Ellen Berkenblitt, Carroll Dunham, and Peter Halley.  And has the Whitney been by to see the Ad Reinhardt collages?

Big balls in a square-paneled world: Keith Mayerson's shout-out

Visitors to NeoIntegrity: Comics Edition might recall recent “visitations” in Chelsea from this alien planet: Basil Wolverton at Gladstone Gallery (2009), R. Crumb at David Zwirner (now), Thomas Woodruff at P.P.O.W. (2008), David Shrigley at Anton Kern (2008) and many other shows of artists working in sequential imagery, grotesque countenance and figuration, and mostly pencil and ink.  Keith Mayerson’s own mini-retrospective and end-of-empire narrative Both Sides Now at Paul Kasmin Gallery (2009) shuttled back and forth between these worlds.

(l) MoCCA Chairwoman Ellen S. Abramowitz, youngsters, MoCCA Director Karl Erickson

Generously funded by School of Visual Arts, a longtime fount of cartooning and illustration talent, Keith’s massive project includes over 200 artists and four or five times as many drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos.  Hot!  The tiny gallery is packed from floor to ceiling, and you really have to watch your step, too.

Krazy Kats: (l-r) Artists Michael Magnan and TM Davy, muse Liam O'Malley, and artist Scott Hug

The bifocals crowd might struggle with the abundance of 10-pt handwritten text extruded throughout the paneled pages, and there is enough black-and-white action to make any newspaper’s editorial page see red.  But that just means that it’s even more of a knockout to see full-color from chromo sapiens such as Dana Schutz, David Sandlin, and John Wesley.  An “Adults Only” section designed by artist TM Davy includes grown-up material ranging from suggestive homoeroticism and explicit T&A to downright  obscenity – more, please!  Here, you’ll find a really beautiful and moody package from James Siena and a multivalent Shel Silverstein that gazes inward, outward, and downward, all at once.

Gold-Medal winning illustrator Yuko Shimizu, SVA MFA '03

More pictures to come after the rain subsides, but the photos today are from the opening reception last week.

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough
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