Archive for the 'commentary and criticism' Category

Mad Magazine i Information


I dagens udgave af Informations bogtillæg kan man læse mine mindeord over Mad Magazine, der som bekendt nu er på vej imod bladdøden. Efter 67 år som det mest tumpet-skarpe indslag på kioskhylderne. Læs her (kræver abo).

Fra Angelico i Weekendavisen

Madonna og barnet med granatæble, ca. 1526, Madrid, Museo del Prado.


Ach, jeg glemte det i skyndingen, men i denne uges udgave af Weekendavisen, som kom i fredags, kan man læse min anmeldelse af den fremragende udstilling af den store florentinske fjortenhundredetalsmaler Fra Angelico på Prado-museet i Madrid. Hvis du skal til Madrid, må du endelig ikke gå glip af den, eller museet for dan sags skyld (men det siger sig selv!)

Læs her, hvis du har abonnement, eller køb avisen!

Titian Upgrade at Apsley House


Over at Apollo Magazine‘s website I provide my assessment of a picture of Orpheus, which has recently been restored in the process plausibly been associated with Titian. Go, read.

Høj Høstrup og Rørholm Davidsen i Information


Efter lidt tid i limbo er min anmeldelse af de to Ping-honorerede danske tegneserier, Det rette element og Lonely Journey, af hhv. Line Høj Høstrup og Ida Rørholm Davidsen blevet bragt i Information. Det skete i bogtillægget sidste uge, men du kan læse anmeldelsen online her, hvis du er subskribent.

Dominique Goblet at The Comics Journal


My latest column at The Comics Journal is an extensive examination of Belgian artist and comics maker Dominique Goblet’s work over the last ten years and how she has made collaboration an essential part of her practice. Here’s an excerpt from the lead-in:

…Dominique Goblet is intensely concerned with life as lived by others, and life as a communal experience. She is among the most empathetic of artists working in the comics form, with each project pushing further the boundaries of interpersonal hermeneutics. Goblet is of the generation that emerged in the ’90s and helped consolidate ‘the graphic novel’ and ‘art comics’ in broader cultural terms—the first, arguably, to unabashedly self-identify as artists.

It is probably unsurprising, therefore, that she made autobiography—the genre that centered that movement—her proving ground. But she differs from most of her peers in that she has consistently looked beyond herself, in the process redefining for reality-based comics the way of working that has determined so much of the historical evolution of comics: collaboration.

Verrocchio (og Leonardo) i Weekendavisen

Andrea del Verrocchio, Bevinget dreng med delfin, ca. 1470–5, Firenze, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio


I dagens udgave af Weekendavisen kan man læse min anmeldelse af den fantastiske udstilling om Andrea del Verrocchio (ca. 1435–1488) som kunstner, værkstedsbestyrer og læremester for Leonardo i Palazzo Strozzi i Firenze. Udstillingen giver et fornemt indblik i det summende kreative florentiske kunstnermiljø i anden halvdel af fjortehundredetallet. Se udstillingen, hvis du kan, og læs anmeldelsen i avisen, eller her hvis du har abo.

Death Save i Information


I fredagens bogtillæg til Information kunne man læse min anmeldelse af Rune Rybergs overskudsprægede ungdomsfortælling Death Save. Og man kan stadig læse den på nettet, lige her, hvis man betaler.

Hermed et lille uddrag:

Præmissen er ganske traditionel, og det er ikke, fordi plottet byder på de store overraskelser undervejs, men Ryberg iscenesætter det med overbevisning og nærvær. Den storbyverden, han bygger op om sine figurer, emmer af postindustrielt forfald, men også af romantisk patina — den kombinerer, hvad der kunne være Napolis bakkedrag og trappeforløb med Lower Manhattans hængebroer, Chicagos højbanetog og Københavns brokvarterers boligkarreer.

Snuskede baglokaler, nedlagte fabriksområder, vindblæste indfaldsvejsrabatter og mennesketomme skurvognsdiners — det hele hænger sammen som beåndet åsted i Rybergs blødt svungne streg og fruktoseholdige farvelægning. Kun den lidt utilpassede computertekstning er en hæmsko.

Titian’s shitting dog


That got your attention, I hope? Yes, Titian drew a shitting dog, which he inserted into one of the most monumental compositions of his early years, the twelve-block woodcut of the Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea (c. 1517), right next to the figure of Moses! (detail above) In the latest issue of Art in Print, I examine the meaning and sources of this coarse insertion into what on first sight seems a grad and heroic composition, but — while it is certainly that — upon further inspection is inflected with a realism that is almost unprecedented in Venetian Renaissance art, informed as it must be by Titian’s possibly traumatic experiences of war during the struggle of Venice against the powerful League of Cambrai. Read more at your local art library or, if you’re a subscriber or would like to become one, online right here.

Miniaturemaleri i Weekendavisen

Nicholas Hilliard, selvportræt, 1577, Victoria and Albert Museum


I dagens Weekendavis kan man læse min anmeldelse af den fornemme udstilling the National Portrait Gallery de seneste måneder har vist af miniatureportrætter af genrens to store britiske mestre Nicholas Hilliard og Isaac Oliver. En art kollektiv portræt af den britiske elite under Elizabeth I og Jakob I via udsøgte kunstværker. Den bedste udstilling i London lige nu, men desværre ikke ret meget længere. Se den hvis du er i byen før 19 maj og læs kataloget.

Posy Simmonds at The Comics Journal


For my latest column at The Comics Journal, I take a closer look at Posy Simmonds’ latest comic, Cassandra Darke, which is a slow-burn masterpiece in paraphrase of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and in the process I have some more general thoughts on her art. Here’s an excerpt:

It is in this characterization of privileged life unsettled that Simmonds—ever concerned with the complexities of social relations and middle-class anxiety—delivers her starkest indictment to date of contemporary society. Mind you, with her trademark British understatement which ensures that satire never subverts story. Her masterful use of crayon and wash technique brings to life a posh London under snow, with its darkened windows, gated garden squares and gleaming lobbies. Her work was an exquisite, unostentatious a sense of place which rivals that of Jacques Tardi. And when Cassandra finally decides to take action and ventures into the ‘far east’ of London, Simmonds evokes a boarded-up high street—perhaps in Dagenham—of pound shops, off licenses and pawnbrokers in a short burst of dense panels, while contrapuntally noting in the voiceover “in spite of its decay, [it] has Christmas lights and bursts of laughter coming from pub doors.” In the space of a few pages she has skipped sideways from A Christmas Carol to A Tale of Two Cities.

Read the whole thing here, and stop by Cynthia Rose’s in-depth reportage from the Pulp festival, which took place a few weeks ago just outside Paris and featured Simmonds, as well as Catherine Meurisse.

Strannik i Information


I dagens bogtillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Anna Rakhmanko og Mikkel Sommers dokumentariske Strannik, om en hjemløs mand der ernærer sig som MMA-kæmper i Moskva. Det er besk, indigneret dokumentarisme, dygtigt disponeret af den tegneseriedebuterende Rakhmanko og leveret med mere selvsikkerhed og mindre lir end vi er vant til fra Sommer. Bag den tredje dør her.

Pisket at The Comics Journal


After more than a year, I’m finally back on the virtual pages of The Comics Journal with a new instalment of my column Common Currency, on European comics. This time, I’ve taken the opportunity of the recent awards handed out at the Angoulême Festival to review Danish cartoonist Halfdan Pisket’s astonishing account of hi father, James’ life in the Dansker-Trilogy, the third volume of which was just given the Prix de la Série in Angoulême, as far as I know the first time a Scandinavian comic has been awarded in the major categories (do correct me if I’m wrong).

But that’s less relevant — what’s important is that this is a distinct and compelling work of memoir, empathy and history, told in comics form. I absolutely encourage you to seek it out if you read Danish or French, and if not then pester your favourite comics publisher to put it out in a language you can read. Check out my column here.

Kvindekamp i Information

Fra Bagieus biografi over svømnings- og kropsaktivisten Annette Kellerman


I fredagens bogtillæg til Information kunne man læse min anmeldelse af Marta Breen og Jenny Jordahls Kvinder i kamp og Pénélope Bagieus Skamløs, to nye formidlende tegneserier, der både behandler kvindekampens historie og formidler en “alternativ’, kvindeorienteret historieform — alt sammen i tegneserieform. Det startet sådan her:

Kvinder i kamp og Skamløs, to nyligt udkomne tegneserier, præsenterer aspekter af kvindekampen og den kvindeorienterede historieskrivning i tilgængelig, letfordøjelig og overvejende underholdende form. Det kan måske virke overraskende, fordi denne type tegneserie kun for nylig har manifesteret sig i litteraturverdenen, men den har en lang tradition bag sig.

læs mere her, bag væggen.

KrigsSplint i Information


I fredagens bogtillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af første bind af Émile Bravos episk anlagte Splint & Co.-fortælling, L’Espoir malgré tout, eller Håbets tid på dansk. Den sender her i seriens 70-jubilæumsår den heltemodige piccolo midt ud i anden verdenskrig, i fortsættelse af de vellykkede enkeltstående album fra 2008 Journal d’un ingénu, dansk titel Portræt af helten som troskyldig ung mand (dansk udgave 2013). Jeg er ikke helt overbevist om at der er tale om en god idé:

Det er ambitiøst, men rejser det velkendte spørgsmål om, hvorvidt børnelitteraturens klart tegnede fantasifigurer tåler et så direkte virkelighedstjek.

Læs mere her, hvis du har abonemment.

Flashback: In Conversation about Sebastiano & Michelangelo

Michelangelo & Sebastiano, with Dr Matthias Wivel and Dr Piers Baker-Bates from Colnaghi Foundation on Vimeo.

It’s Christmas time, so here’s a treat for the two and half people who might care. I was searching for something else and happened upon this video through the Colnaghi Foundation website. It records a conversation I had at their premises in London in the spring of 2017 with my colleague Piers Baker-Bates on Sebastiano del Piombo, his relationship to Michelangelo and his fortuna critica in Spain (a particular specialty of Piers’). Of course the impetus was the exhibition I had organised at the National Gallery, to which Piers had provided invaluable assistance.

I was aware at the time that it was being filmed but forgot all about it, so it’s nice to see it’s been online for a while. It’s very nerdy, but that was also kind of the brief, and frankly a relief at a time when I was doing many more general — and also enjoyable! — introductions to the subject. Plus, it’s always nice to chat with Piers. Enjoy!