Tomi Ungerer: All in One
Tomi Ungerer is best known as the award winning author and illustrator of such beloved 1960s children’s classics as The Three Robbers (1961) and Moon Man (1966). But the virtuoso draftsman—who was born in Alsace, France, in 1931, and who currently resides in a remote part of Ireland near Cork—is much more than this. Even as Ungerer was busy producing children’s books for the publisher Harper & Row, he was making a name for himself with witty advertising campaigns for the New York Times and the Village Voice, biting satirical illustrations about the business world, and brutal pictorial responses to racism, fascism, and the Vietnam War. Ungerer also made graphic erotic drawings throughout his career. That Ungerer is not as well known in America today as he is in Europe is largely due to his self-imposed exile c.1970, when he and his wife abruptly abandoned New York and relocated to a farm in Nova Scotia, where Ungerer produced some of his most exquisite drawings to date.
The Drawing Center exhibition is the first career retrospective in the United States dedicated to this extraordinary artist. Beginning with his childhood drawings depicting the Nazi invasion of Strasbourg, through his work in New York and Canada, and concluding with Ungerer’s most recent political and satirical campaigns as well as his illustrations for the 2013 children’s book Fog Island, Tomi Ungerer: All in One will re-introduce this wildly creative individual to New York City and the world. The exhibition will occupy the entire Drawing Center, with a spotlight “exhibition” of Ungerer’s erotic drawings in the Drawing Room and animations in the lower-level Lab gallery.
Curated by Claire Gilman, Curator.
Tomi Ungerer: All in One is made possible by the support of Phaidon Press, Lisa Silver and Jean Castelli, an anonymous gift in honor of Frances Beatty Adler, the Maurice Sendak Foundation, EDF Group, Philippe Castagnet, HarperCollins, Dominque Formhals, Fiona and Eric Rudin, the French Embassy, and L’école des Loisirs.
Special thanks to the Musée Tomi Ungerer-Centre international de l'illustration
Image: Tomi Ungerer, Untitled, 1961 (drawing for The Three Robbers). Collage of cut paper, gouache, and marker on paper, 11 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches. Image courtesy of the Children’s Literature Research Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia.
James Sheehan: Death of Malevich
To activate The Drawing Center’s newly designed galleries, the institution’s curators have invited artists to create long-term drawing-based installations in atypical locations around the facility. The first project is James Sheehan’s Death of Malevich (2013). Sheehan’s postage-stamp-size watercolor on board is inserted directly into one of the walls of the basement corridor, creating a keyhole effect that voyeuristically transports the viewer into another realm. His infinitesimal image Death of Malevich derives from a photograph of famed Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich lying in state, surrounded by his artworks. Sheehan’s exploration of the relationship between distance and scale results in a scene that appears legible from afar, but that gradually dissolves on approach—even as the work’s recessed installation (and the placement of the painter’s acclaimed Black Square, 1915, directly above the dead man’s head) draw the viewer in. This work was also featured in our recent exhibition Small..
In April 2015, artist Abdelkader Benchamma will install Representation of Dark Matter, a large-scale graphic wall drawing representing an astrological vortex, in the double-height lobby stairway. This piece will be on view for one year.