Beyond the Cape! Comics and Contemporary Art

Apr. 16-Oct. 6, 2019
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Why call this new museum exhibition Beyond the Cape!? Compared to so many other exhibitions around the world about comic books, this original and unconventional take soars well beyond just superheroes. Beyond the Cape! Comics and Contemporary Art shows how some of the most currently sought-after contemporary artists are influenced by graphic novels and comic books. The artworks in this pioneering show take viewers on a deeper dive into adult realms, tackling some of today’s thorniest issues: divisiveness, racial prejudice, feminism, planetary climate Armageddon, and LGBTQ rights.

Grouped together for the first time in this new way, markedly different from other shows about comics, the exhibition includes prominent superstars such as: Kumasi J. Barnett, George Condo, Renee Cox, Liz Craft, Kota Ezawa, Eric Fertman, Chitra Ganesh, Mark Thomas Gibson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Christian Marclay, Kerry James Marshall, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Murray, Yoshitomo Nara, Joyce Pensato, Raymond Pettibon, Peter Saul, Kenny Scharf, William T. Wiley, and Michael Zansky. Some of the most acclaimed underground comic book artists are also front-and-center, including: R. Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Mimi Pond, and the Hairy Who artists Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum, among others.

Beyond the Cape! is the headline show for the museum’s new season, featuring video, photography, sculpture, prints, drawings, and tapestries. Rare comics will also be shown, as well as a series of contemporary animation coupled with remarkable historic cartoons from the early 1900s that are rarely seen. This exhibition is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, who recruited as her ‘muse’ Calvin Reid, the Senior News Editor at Publishers Weekly and a leading expert in the field of comics. Reid was one of the first critics to recognize comics as a literary form for adults, and is organizing an extensive reading room where the public can comfortably lounge and enjoy reading graphic novels and comics (some from his own private library).

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Peter Saul, Self Portrait with Haircut, 2003, Hand printed color lithograph, 30 x 22 inches. Ed. #10/30. © Peter Saul 2003. Courtesy of Shark’s Ink. Lyons, Colorado.  Photo: Bud Shark.

Peter Saul, Self Portrait with Haircut, 2003, Hand printed color lithograph, 30 x 22 inches. Ed. #10/30. © Peter Saul 2003. Courtesy of Shark’s Ink. Lyons, Colorado.  Photo: Bud Shark.