Thomas Alsop i Information


I denne weekends krimitillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Fahrenheits danske udgave af Chris Miskiewicz’ og Palle Schmidts fantasy-noir Thomas Alsop. Jeg synes serien har gode takter, samt franchisepotentiale, men den er samtidig lidt upersonlig og ikke tæt nok plottet. Der er plads til forbedring med andre ord. Stadig, værd at kaste et blik. Læs her, bag paywallen.

The Renaissance in Six Pictures

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434


A bit late here with this, but still thought I’d post it: as part of the BBC Civilisations Festival, which is approaching the end of its run, I wrote this piece on the European Renaissance, in which I try to convey as sense of its meaning and significance through close looking at six pictures from the National Gallery’s collection (the Gallery is a partner in the festival). 200 words each. Not easy, especially considering that, whether you like it or not, any such endeavour will be made in the ghostly shade of Kenneth Clark, whose original 1969 documentary series is still at high watermark in television about art, ideological criticisms be damned. Oh yeah, this all is of course prompted by the current revival of the concept at the BBC with their Civilisations, which so far I’ve found more admirable than inspiring, but still well worth watching for the many insights and the passion of its three hosts and its occasionally inspired editing.

Nina Hemmingsson i Information


Så er jeg her igen. Endnu en tegneserieanmeldelse i Informations bogtillæg. Denne gang omhandler det Nina Hemmingssons Du vil ha’ mig, hendes danske debut her, godt et dusin år efter hun brændte igennem i Sverige. Jeg gør mig lidt tanker om hvorfor det har taget så lang tid, men bruger mere tid på at forsæge at indkredse hendes fandenivoldske humor. Læs her, men der er som sædvanlig paywall.

Fuglemanden, en McGraphic Novel


Så kører det. Denne uge er der i Informations (nydesignede) bogtillæg endnu en af mine tegneserienameldelser, af Sarah Engell og Lillian Brøggers Fuglemanden. Den er er jeg ikke vild med. Hermed et kort uddrag af anmeldelsen:

Tegneserieformen konsoliderer sig for tiden i litteraturverdenen. Etablerede forlag, der mestendels gør sig i bøger uden billeder, har med fremkomsten af den såkaldte ’graphic novel’ fået færten af en form, som kan noget nyt og andet og samtidig trives i et litterært register. Forfattere, filmfolk, illustratorer og andet godtfolk prøver kræfter med tegninger og talebobler. Resultatet er det fremvoksende fænomen, man kunne kalde en McGraphic Novel.

… nu har ungdomsforfatter Sarah Engell og illustrator Lillian Brøgger – kendte og respekterede skikkelser på deres respektive felter – signeret en vaskeægte tegneserie med titlen Fuglemanden. Den er nærmest indbegrebet af en McGraphic Novel. En tegneserie i bogform, der behandler et ’alvorligt’ emne og fastholder litterær dekorum. Der er hak i alle de rigtige kasser.

Læs den her, ed abonnement.

Signe Parkins i Information


Efter laaang tid er jeg tilbage i Information med en tegneserieanmeldelse. Det gælder Signe Parkins’ helstøbte tegneserielyrik Tusindfryd. Læs her, men beware the paywall.

Michelangelo in the Burlington


This month’s issue of The Burlington Magazine (vol. 60, #1378) includes my lengthy review of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, still on for another week at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (until 12 February). Here’s a short, summary excerpt:

A curatorial triumph, with individual exhibits
selected with confidence and intelligence, the exhibition
offers an exceptional opportunity to understand and appreciate
Michelangelo’s art and creative mind at the most intimate level.
However, while this well suits those ready to devote a long
time to it, one wonders whether, for the more casual visitor, so
comprehensive an approach through sheer accumulation might
flatten the impact of individual objects – many of which would
be centrepieces in other displays.

In it, I also discuss the very forceful attribution to Michelangelo that curator Carmen C. Bambach advances for the picture illustrated above, from the Kimbell. Ostensibly Michelangelo’s first painting — executed in when he was a pre-teen or in his early teens — it is a compelling work that could be by him, but about which I am not alone in habouring certain doubts.

Anyway, read the Burlington at your local art library!

CAV

Fra Cavs bidrag til antologien BLÆK som undertegnede redigerede med Thomas Thohauge og Frederik Storm i 2006.


Cav er død. Det er så uendeligt trist. Jeg tror jeg kan sige, at vi var venner, selvom vi ikke sås tit. Vi var i hvert fald gode kolleger en årrække, hvor dansk tegneseriekultur rykkede sig meget. Eller lad mig sige det på denne måde: da jeg for nogle år siden — fordi jeg endnu engang stod foran en flytning til udlandet — på smertelig vis skulle skille mig af med en tredjedel af mine fra barndommen elskede amerikanske tegneserieblade, var der ingen tvivl om hvem der skulle have dem.

Jeg holdt meget af ham, som kollega og menneske. Det var altid en fornøjelse at være sammen med Cav. Han lyste op og gjorde glad, hvor end han gik, men det tyder på at det ikke altid gik den anden vej. Han var tydeligvis også dybt plaget i perioder. Thomas Thorhauge har skrevet en oplysende og gribende nekrolog og jeg har ikke meget konkret at tilføje, men synes alligevel jeg ville dele nogle anekdotiske minder. Continue reading ‘CAV’

Claveloux på Nummer9

Fra mesterværket "La main verte"/"The Green Hand"


På tegneseriesitet Nummer9 har jeg netop brudt med lang tids stener og publiceret en anmeldelse! OK, det er en slags genoptryk af en tekst, jeg skrev til The Comics Journal sidste år, men alligevel — hop over på Nieren og check mit take på den nyligt udkomne amerkanske udgave af Nicole Claveloux’ (og Edith Zhas) fantastiske — på enhver måde — tegneserier fra sidst i halvfjerdserne/begyndelsen af firserne. Nogle af de mest overrumplende og naturligt originale tegneserier, jeg længe har læst.

Michelangelo i Weekendavisen

Siddende mandling model, ca. 1510+12, Wien, Albertina


I dennes uges udgave af Weekendavisen anmelder jeg den store Michelangelo-udstilling på The Metropolitan Museum of Art i New York og gør mig i den forbindelse nogle tanker om Michelangelos næsten eksklusive fokus på kroppen i sin kunst. Læs avisen, hvis I har mulighed for det!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Filippino Lippi, The Adoration of the Kings, about 1480, The National Gallery

Christmas odds and ends


So it’s nearly Christmas and I realise that I’ve been running behind even on the self-promotion (such as it is) in here. Fear not, I’ll have you caught up in no time, or just in time to wish you a merry one.

ITEM My exhibition Michelangelo & Sebastiano, which showed at the National Gallery last spring, was nominated for Exhibition of the Year at the Apollo Awards. Although we were beaten for the award by the amazing Raphael exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, it was needless to say an honour to be considered. I am proud of the work we did, warts and all, and hope some of you had the chance to come see it.

ITEM Speaking of Michelangelo and Raphael, they are — of course — two parts of the ‘Big Three’ constellation we are currently showing in room 20 at the National. The Royal Academy generously lent us Michelangelo’s Taddei tondo for Michelangelo and Sebastiano and have let us keep it till the end of January while they’re renovating and preparing its new display in time for their anniversary. For various reasons, my full online interpretation treatment on went live a few weeks ago. You can look at it here, and you can of course watch my Facebook Live introduction — previously posted – here.

Cornelis Cort after design by Titian, The Annunciation, second state, c. 1566, engraving


ITEM I reviewed Peter Lüdemann’s Tiziano. Le botteghe e la grafica in the December issue of The Burlington Magazine. on the use of graphic media in the Titian workshop. A stimulating if slightly incoherent book, which at times skirts the difficult issues but nevertheless collates little-studied material in enlightening ways. Here are my concluding remarks:

Lüdemann’s book is a welcome
addition to the literature. In addition
to providing the first analytical overview of
print production both in Titian’s workshop
and outside it, its central argument about
collaboration is strong. Titian himself never
cut, engraved or etched, which means that
any consideration of prints relating to his
output necessarily involves his workshop
practice and his arrangements with fellow
artists, printmakers and printers. It should
be obvious to any reader of this flawed but
fascinating book that the prints, and indeed
the drawings relating to them or otherwise
analogous to their function, are a particularly
illuminating key to a better understanding
of Titian’s work as a whole.

Read it at your local art library!

ITEM Our Christmas video series at The National Gallery this year focuses on gold as its theme. I participated briefly (see above) in the section devoted to the gilding of frames, discussing with our Head of Framing Peter Schade the spectacular altarpiece frame he created for the Gallery’s Raising of Lazarus by Sebastiano and Michelangelo, which debuted in the aforementioned exhibition and is now on view around the painting in the Gallery’s room 8.

Merry Christmas!

The Green Hand at The Comics Journal


So, I already have another Common Currency column up at The Comics Journal. I know, crazy right? Anyway, it’s basically a standard review of French artist and writer Nicole Claveloux’ The Green Hand, just now reissued in a handsome English-language edition by New York Review Comics. I make the case that especially the tile story is a largely forgotten masterpiece, representing a road not really taken in the form until perhaps recently. In part because comics have been so bad at accomodating woman creators, again until recently. Things are changing. Go, read.

Common Currency – The Return!


Finally, after I don’t even want to think about how long, I’m back at The Comics Journal with an installment of my column on European Comics. While I’ve been writing other things there, I have been neglecting that particular commitment. And no, my last one didn’t really count, as it was about the very non-European Chester Brown.

So, click over to read my piece on how the newfound freedom occasioned by the international New Wave of comics in the nineties and early naughts is causing some confusion among even very talented cartoonists today, resulting in a lot of spectacular-looking, ambitious-seeming comics that don’t amount to all that much. Includes reviews of work by Olivier Josso Hamel, Yannis la Macchia and Antoine Marchalot. Go go go!

Above: from Yannis la Macchia’s Des batisseurs.

Teknokosmos

Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott og Stan Lee, fra "This Man... This Monster!", Fantastic Four #51 (1966)

I sidste uges udgave af Weekendavisen kunne man læse min artikel om Jack Kirby, skrevet i anledning af hundredeåret for hans fødsel 28 august i år. På grund af en redaktionsfejl, trykte avisen desværre en kladde i stedet for den grundigt omskrevne — og i mine øjne væsentlig bedre — udgave af min tekst. Da det er for sent at rette op på i sig selv, bringer jeg derfor den egentlige, færdige tekst her. Med ekstra billeder. God læselyst!

Jack Kirby er energi! Spændstigt trukne linjer, intenst strålende parallelskraveringer, kompakte sorte prikker, der sitrer på papiret. Kantede figurer, heroiske af statur, med ansigterne fortrukne af følelser og hænderne strakt mod os i voldsom forkortning. De brydes i eksplosive slagsmål, deres kroppe i fejende bevægelse. Vildtvoksende arkitekturer og teknologiske abstraktioner, kvasi-kubistisk undfanget i hvad der kunne være den femte dimension. Sammenstillingen af grovkornet hverdag og bjergtagende kosmiske panoramaer. Billeder der truer med at bryde rammerne. Continue reading ‘Teknokosmos’