Erró: American Comics

 

September 14 – December 13, 2014

Mana Contemporary is proud to introduce Galerie Ernst Hilger of Vienna as the newest commercial gallery to join the art complex. For its initial exhibition, Galerie Ernst Hilger at Mana presents a collection of works by one of Iceland’s foremost Pop artists, Erró (b. 1932), 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.

During his travels around the world, Erró has collected a wealth of images from newsprint, magazines, books, posters, and of course, comics, creating his own personal archive of inspiration to cut and paste. Starting in the early 1960’s, Erró made several extended visits to New York, where he encountered American Pop art and became acquainted with Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol, among others. These artists influenced Erró to combine pictorial elements from a wide variety of popular sources to display contradictions inherent in a world of never-ending consumption.

The exhibition presents a series of the artist’s colorful landscapes – “Scapes” – and sagas of superheroes such as Wonder Woman and Tank Girl. Mixing different comics’ characters from different authors together in one image, the results are raucous, jarring, and yet, universally accessible.

 

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Crystal Gwyn