Silent Pictures – Abstract Comics Exhibition

February 8th, 2010

Right! I’ve finally got round to posting some photos of the Silent Pictures Exhibition at the James Gallery of the Graduate Center of CUNY

James Gallery Entrance


Silent Pictures entry & Small Zines by Robert Breer


lots of people


a bookshelf of Anthologies


Silent Pictures Programme booklet


Art Spiegelman’s collection of wordless comics

A History of Composition in Abstract Comic Covers, 2001 by Mark Stafford Brandi


James Gallery’s Silent Pictures Explores the Nonverbal Power of Comics

Silent Pictures, running from September 1 through October 11 in the James Gallery, will focus on aspects of comic book structure that do not depend on words to advance an image sequence. The exhibition is inspired by artist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Art Spiegelman’s personal collection of wordless comics and graphic novels — mostly black and white rare artist books from the 1930s. The show will feature a selection of these books, as well as more recent “abstract comics,” and a related film program — all of which investigate essential qualities and aesthetics of this hugely popular medium.

The James Gallery is located off the lobby of the Graduate Center at 365 Fifth Avenue (between 34th & 35th Streets). Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 12–8 pm, and 12–6 pm on Saturdays & Sundays. Admission is free; for more information call 212-817-7138 or visit An opening reception for Silent Pictures will be held on Thursday, September 10, 6-8 pm.

The abstract comics, compiled by art historian and cartoon artist [No, I don’t know what a “cartoon artist” is either; and I’m pretty sure I’m not one, in any case. I didn’t write this release.] Andrei Molotiu for a just released anthology, Abstract Comics Fantagraphics Books, 2009), call attention to the formal mechanisms that underlie all comics. Where the earlier art collected by Spiegelman retains a narrative, often politically charged thrust, the comics gathered by Molotiu emphasize the dynamic graphics that lead the eye and mind from panel to panel, suggesting that these structural elements are fundamental to the emotional register of the medium.

The exhibition will also feature a specially commissioned wall drawing by Renee French, a hand-drawn animated film by the British artist team Rachel Cattle and Steve Richards, and a new collaborative project for the Graduate Center’s Fifth Avenue lobby display windows by Gail Fitzgerald and Carl Ostendarp.

In addition, Columbia University art historian and film scholar Noam Elcott will curate a related film program titled “Comic-Film-Strip.” To be installed in a small gallery-within-the-gallery, this program will feature mostly wordless, animated historic films, in which the frame-by-frame narrative parallels developments in the wordless comics that also emerged during the first half of the 20th century. “Comic-Film-Strip” will include selections of films by Emile Cohl, Walter Ruttmann, Norman McLaren, and Robert Breer, as well as a very early partially animated film by William Kentridge. Elcott will elaborate on “Comic-Film-Strip” in a public conversation to be held September 25, 6-7:30 pm in the Graduate Center’s Skylight Lounge.

from the press release here.

And here is the most important part of this post. My Comics!

Can you spot my Comics? (Click for larger)



My Comics in New York!



For reviews of the exhibition see here and here.


A big Thank you to everybody who made this possible especially Linda Norden and Andrei Molotiu who curated the show. Also to the James Gallery for giving me permission to use the photos.

Photo Credits:

Annemarie Poyo Furlong. “Silent Pictures” at the James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center.

6 Responses to “Silent Pictures – Abstract Comics Exhibition”

  1. Mat Hunkin Says:


  2. draw Says:

    Cheers Mat! Its cool to know you are still about

  3. Grant Says:

    Bloody good on you.

  4. draw Says:

    Hey Thanks Grant!

  5. DaveBradbury Says:

    Draw, that is just so cool. A NY show! without leaving Aro Valley… what a bizarre world – and what a neat milestone!

  6. draw Says:

    Thanks Dave! yeah its awesome, hopefully I’ll see you soon

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