Saul Steinberg

ILLUMINATIONS : From The New Yorker to cartography, from greetings cards to gallery art, the comic genius and modernisim unmasks the 20th century

Saul Steinberg (1914-1999), an American artist whose magic lit up the pages and covers of The New Yorker for six decades, is the subject of Dulwich Picture Gallery’s latest illustrators exhibition. It’s a retrospective which features more than a hundred drawings, collages and sculptural assemblages by the artist whom many regard as not only a comic genius but among the greatest draftsmen of the modern era. This exhibition is the first full scale review of his career.

Born in Romania, he studied architecture in the 1930’s in Milan where he gained early fame as a cartoonist. In America after World War ll, he became a propagandist, illustrator, fabric and card designer, muralist, fashion and advertising artist, stage designer and the tireless creator of image-jammed books. In 1960 he decided to concentrate on art for gallery shows and for The New Yorker. The exhibition covers the whole range of his work from high art to low comedy, from murals to magazines, from caricature to cartography. The exhibition is a close-up of the contradictions of the 20th century. It will make the visitor smile a lot.

The Exhibition will run from 26 November to 15 February 2009.

South London Gallery

Rivane Neuenschwander

For her solo exhibition at the South London Gallery, internationally acclaimed Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander will completely transform the gallery space with a site-specific installation. Monumental in scale, yet incorporating minimalist elements including drilled holes, a packet of the residual dust and tiny perforations in every frame of a 16mm film, this major new work encompasses a number of discreet but interrelated components.

Born of the artist’s unique sensitivity to space, Neunenschwander’s installation takes as its starting point the full height of the SLG’s impressive main exhibition hall, the beautiful glass ceiling lantern and the horizontal line which notionally divides the space into two. A visually elaborate but essentially simple wooden structure supports a new floor punctuated by two staircases leading visitors to the level above and an entirely fresh perspective on the upper floor of the gallery.

The temporary floor equally transforms the lower half of the gallery, populating it with supporting struts and obscuring daylight which otherwise would flood the space. This darkened area creates the context for a single projection of a flickering spot of light as the pierced 16mm film threads through the projector. A companion piece on the upper level further contributes to a perpetual dialogue between additive and reductive processes which permeates the show. A line of circular holes circumnavigates the space, dividing it in half again but also highlighting the continuity of the wall’s surfaces in the absence of doors. This is one of the many cycles embedded in an exhibition where every interpretive direction leads to another and ultimately back to its starting point.

In a further, but decidedly not final twist, in one of the multiple narratives with which Neunenschwander presents us, a small parcel conceals its contents - the dust created by the drilling of the holes on the upper level – while the post marks reveal its journey, from the South London Gallery and back to the South London Gallery again.

Rivane Neunenschwander lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She has exhibited extensively internationally including the 55th Carnegie last May and at the New Museum, New York in spring 2009.

Exhibition open 3 October – 23 November Tuesday-Sunday 12-6pm, closed Mondays

The South London Gallery shows the work of mid-career British artists, and emerging and established international artists in an annual programme of contemporary art exhibitions, live art and off-site projects complemented by workshops, events, artists’ talks and outreach projects. The SLG became an independent public gallery in 2003.

What Are You Like?

Self-revealing artworks by forty people in the public eye 9 September-14 December

The idea for this exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, curated by the Museum of Illustration, is taken from a Victorian game of depicting yourself with images of your favourite things; like a self-portrait. Artworks by Quentin Blake, Mary Fedden, Brian Eno, Glen Baxter, Mary McCartney, Eric Clapton, Posy Simmonds, Andrew Marr, David Gentleman, Philip Pullman and others will give an insight into how the contributors see themselves and will celebrate the art of illustration.

Contributors have been asked to illustrate eight favourite things from a list of twelve – their favourite animal, book, clothes, food, pastime, place possession, music, shoes, weather, and their pet aversion. They have been encouraged to use whatever medium they most enjoy. The artists’ names will not appear on the artwork to allow visitors the fun of trying to guess their identity.

Hanging out with Rembrandt

This year the Autumn Art Exhibition of the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery will be hung in the gallery itself, giving local artists a unique chance to show their work alongside Rubens, Rembrandt, Poussin and Reynolds.

The show will run from 25 October to 9 November. Work must be submitted for selection by a panel of judges headed by Xavier Saloman, Curator of the Gallery on 18 or 19 October. If you are not a Friend of Dulwich Picture Gallery, it is possible to join on those days. Work must be submitted in flat form and there is an entrance fee of £10 (£5 for under 18) per work. All work must be for sale at a price indicated by the artist, and the Friends will take a 30% commission on all sales.

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