This Phil Hale painting is one of eight currently hanging in a new exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum. Below is a shot of the Gallery wall and a glimpse of the Mort Drucker originals that hang opposite the Hale work, which is just around the corner from the Peter deSeve stuff and across the room from Sterling Hundley's work.The show is a collaboration between the folks who run the Museum (founded a hundred years ago to preserve the art of the revered local illustrator and wildly influential teacher, Howard Pyle), and the guest curator David Apatoff. Apatoff is an illustrtation historian and biographer (Robert Fawcett, Albert Dorne, an upcoming one on Bernie Fuchs), he also writes about the the subject on his blog, IllustrationArt. He collects, he lectures, he seems to know his shit and Lord knows he has opinions. All the artists and work in the show were chosen by this guy.
The show's official title is: State of the Art, A Hundred Years After Howard Pyle. As I understand it, the unenviable task here was to somehow indentify a legacy or a visual continuim in contemporary illustration that has some kind of connection - an attitude , an energy or some kind of aesthetic debt- to the Master's work and influence. The folks who were chosen come from different but occasional overlapping areas in our field. Along with Hale and Peter deSeve (Illustration & Painting and Character Design respectively), there's Sterling for Magazine and Commercial Illustration, Mr. Drucker for Sequential Art, and the aforementioned Hall of Famer Bernie Fuchs for Advertising and Magazine work. For the Conceptual Design category, there's the work of some guy named Milton Glazer . The Pixar Art Director and Production Designer (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall*E) Ralph Eggleston is representing Animation, and some of my stuff is there for Editorial Art .
That catalogue includes intros, an essay, the dreaded artist's statements and a list of the work in the show.
The curators essay is where you can find a better description of the exhibit than the one I offered above, as well as a rationale behind the artistic choices and decisions made for the show. It also throws in a pretty comprehensive history and description of the technological advances in printing and reproduction and the enormous influence they had on our field. Tucked in there as well is a rousing testimonial to the popularity and necessity of illustration in contemporary culture- I felt good about the future for a couple of minutes.
This is proper art-viewing attire. The dress code is strictly enforced by the museum.
In the deSeve and Eggleston sections there are monitors streaming video clips from some of the animated features they have worked on.
The exhibit is up until June 1st, after which, I'm have this thing reassembled in my living room.
And I might snag that Fuchs painting too.
I think I've already shown most of my work in the show here in previous posts. Here's one of them - it's about 3x5", which means it's more than a hundred times smaller than a Hale painting, but it's got a big mat.
Here's Mr. Pyle himself, working at his standing drawing table. The actual table, and this drawing, are
both part of the museum's permanent collection.