Erró: American Comics

 

September 14 – December 24, 2014

Galerie Ernst Hilger at Mana presents a collection of works by one of Iceland’s foremost Pop artists, Erró, who is known for his paintings based on collage

 
 

On view in 5,000-square-foot first floor gallery, Erró: American Comics features selected works highlighting the artist’s trademark comic book aesthetics. Large-scale canvases teem with superheroes and other cartoon characters all vying for attention while simultaneously commenting on socio-political issues such as the Americanization of existence.

The exhibition’s eleven works, created between 1979 and 2009, represent two significant, recurring themes in Erró’s work: his popular Scapes series, where large canvases are filled with countless fragments of comic book-inspired imagery, and his superhero-themed sagas, which feature icons like Wonder Woman and Tank Girl replicated ad infinitum. To make his painted assemblages, the artist first creates a traditional cut-and-paste collage using images culled from newspapers, magazines, books, posters, advertisements, brochures, and comic books. He then translates the imagery to a canvas using acrylic paint, resulting in vibrant landscapes filled with humor, social commentary, and a dizzying sampling of contemporary visual culture. 

Erró began using pop culture imagery in the mid-1960s, when he made several extended visits to New York City. He was fascinated with Pop Art, and met artists including Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. Erró shared their fascination with comic book graphics—specifically, the energy and excitement they emitted—and decided to incorporate the recognizable imagery into his paintings in an attempt to bridge the gap between high and low culture. Through his distinctive pictorial approach, Erró explores social and cultural contradictions in a world of never-ending consumption.

 

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IMAGES
(1) The Official Portrait of Sigmund Freud, 2009
(2) Tankgirl’s Day, 2009
(3) Captain America, 1992