The exhibit, Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated, features highlights from the independent political cartooning magazine World War 3 Illustrated. The exhibit includes original artwork about events that artists have scrutinized, documented and participated in over the last three decades.
Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated opens on September 28 at two galleries in Grand Forks: the Colonel Eugene E. Myers Gallery on the UND campus and the Third Street Gallery on Kittson, and continues through October 31. The opening receptions are Wednesday, October 26, 2011, beginning at the UND location from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., then the Third Street Gallery, downtown Grand Forks, from 7 – 9:00 p.m. Artists Seth Tobocman, Sabrina Jones and Peter Kuper will be in attendance.
World War 3 Illustrated was established in 1980 in New York City in by artists Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman in response to the Iran hostage crisis and the election of Ronald Regan. Since that time, the publication, produced annually, includes artwork – created by a collective of artists - that confront social and political issues on a specific theme.
Themes addressed in World War 3 Illustrated include wide-ranging subjects such as racism, prison, AIDS, religion, sex and war. The publication has also addressed specific events, such as the Tompkins Square Riot, responses to September 11, a teacher’s strike in Mexico and hurricane Katrina rescue efforts. The artwork presented in each issue received critical success. Holland Carter, writing in a New York Times review of the exhibition, observes that “The 9/11 issue, which appeared very soon after the disaster, is still a heart-stopper, with its diary-like narratives in cartoon form and its evocation of the grief and paranoia that gripped the city”.
Artists featured in Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated created powerful responses to critical contemporary events. Critic Lucy Lippard notes that the “ecological and social prophesies [presented in World War 3 Illustrated] are coming to pass, and the apocalyptic vision that gives WW3 its desperate force and unique identity is the present”. In an early publication, World War 3 Illustrated captured the dangerous, apocalyptic atmosphere of the New York City during the Tomkin Square riots. In the most recent issue featured in the exhibit, contributing artists captured the national mood of economic and ecological distress by offering proposals for progress that may improve the state of the nation.
Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated features paintings, comics, murals, film, animation and drawings from 40 artists that contributed to World War 3 Illustrated. Among the artists represented in the exhibition are Art Speigelman, Sue Coe, Eric Drooker, Mac McGill, Sabrina Jones, Keven Pyle, Rebecca Migdal, James Romberg and Marguerite Van Cook. There are over 150 works of art included in the exhibition; the work is presented in a thematic, chronological manner. Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated is on loan from the Exit Art cultural center in New York City. Exit Art present experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. The exhibit is curated by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman and Susan Willmarth.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. A panel discussion featuring artists Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman and Sabrina Jones will be held on Tuesday, October 25 at 3:00 p.m. at the University of North Dakota Memorial Union, River Valley Room.
For more information, contact Kim Fink, 777-2905 or Joel Jonientz, 777-3395.