Comic Art Exhibitions at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

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artwork: Jim Woodring - "Did I Do This? Could I Do That?", 2002 - Charcoal on paper - 13" x 18". Courtesy of © the artist. On view in “Us Versus Them/Masters of Collective Reality” at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art from May 21st through October 2nd.


Scottsdale, AZ.- The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents two exhibitions of comic art from May 21st through October 2nd. The tandem exhibitions “Us Versus Them” and “Masters of Collective Reality” conceived by Phoenix-based artist Jon Haddock look beyond the comics of superheros and villains, to a handful of comic artists who utilize the frame of a comic as a platform to explore the struggle of the isolated, individual’s experience and our collective reality. For “Masters of Collective Reality” Haddock has selected widely-recognized comic artists such as Rory Hayes, Joe Sacco, John Stanley, Jim Woodring and Basil Wolverton, artists whose idiosyncrasies and technical virtuosity he has long admired. Each employs the comic as a means of grappling with life’s inequities—personal, cultural and political.

artwork: R. Sikoryak - “Dostoyevsky Comics” (from Masterpiece Comics), 2009 Digital Reproduction - Dimensions variable. Courtesy of © the artist. Haddock’s installation “Us Versus Them” explores the divergence of the comic reader’s personal world from the shared fantasy world of comics. Haddock excavates the isolating, and often fetishistic, experience of comic fandom. One series of sculptures by Haddock consists of statuesque portraits of the iconoclastic male comic reader, including celebrated individuals such as Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick and Haddock’s own self-portrait. These works recognize the commonalities of comic fans, struggling to exercise agency in the face of an alienating world. As well, Haddock, internationally renowned for his politically provocative work, employs the comic book format as a vehicle for addressing the intimate personal questions that concern him. He will also create new work in comics for the exhibition.

Founded in 1999, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [SMoCA] is an educational institution dedicated to presenting exhibitions on contemporary and modern art, architecture, and design. Global in its focus, SMoCA is a gathering place for experiencing contemporary art and culture. They connect visitors to the dynamic art and ideas of our time and explore the possibilities of innovation, creativity and expression. As a unique and vital cultural resource for the southwest, the Museum offers a variety of exhibition-related programs and special events with activities for lifelong learners, from preschool to adulthood. The tailored programs (lectures, docent-led tours, workshops and classes) are designed to serve as a forum for interpreting culture through contemporary visual art.

The Store @ SMoCA offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books and imaginative gifts for all occasions. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has five galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s growing permanent collection. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s “Knight Rise”, one of the renowned artist’s few public skyspaces, and Scrim Wall, a monumental curtain of prismatic glass by James Carpenter Design Associates. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.smoca.org