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Jeff Zenick, Because (detail), 1992, ink on paper, 9 x 6".

New York

“Silent Pictures”

The James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue The City University of New York
August 14–October 11, 2009

Curated by Linda Norden

Thankfully overcoming the curatorial urges to which comics have lately been subjected—the high-low quibble and the drive to canonize—“Silent Pictures” instead undertakes an oblique investigation of the medium’s essential qualities, examining formal structure and syntax through wordless and nonnarrative sequences. The show combines selections from Art Spiegelman’s collection of rare early-twentieth-century wordless comics with materials gathered in the course of cartoonist Andrei Molotiu’s research into contemporary abstract comics. The latter group includes work by an international array of artists (most not well known), including John Hankiewicz, Benoit Joly, Victor Moscoso, Jason Overby, Gary Panter, Ibnal Rabin, and Lewis Trondheim. With these pictures, what need for a thousand words?