Saturday, January 1, 2011

Abstract comics in the Washington Post

Jessica Dawson of the Washington Post on "Party Crashers," at the Arlington Arts Center:

Look ma, no images! The abstract comics tucked into the center's basement boggle the brain. They're what Cudlin calls "comics for comics' sake." Your mind searches for images to latch onto, but these formalist exercises trip us up every time. Abstractions are presented panel by panel, suggesting a narrative but always frustrating one. If it weren't for the deadly charms of Afrodisiac, these comics would have topped my list.

I just wish Dawson would have actually mentioned artists' names. Her description applies to my pieces, Rosaire Appel's, and to Warren's "Un Calligramme." (Derik Badman and Blaise Larmee are also exhibiting in the "Abstract Comics" section, but their work on show, though bracingly experimental, is representational. Warren also had pages from other of his comics that can't really be called "abstract." I hasten to add that all of their work is extraordinary, and it's an honor to be in their company.)

And, oh yeah, if you follow the link you'll see that the critic describes my catalog essay as "uninspired musings." (She does at least think that my "art is better than [my] writing"...) Never mind the adjective, I seriously doubt what I wrote qualifies as "musings;" but I'll seek permission to post the piece on this blog (maybe after the show closes) and let everybody judge.


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