Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tim Burton at MOMA

Just in time for Halloween, NY MoMA is featuring a retrospective of the works of Tim Burton. According to the press release the show "presents artworks and objects drawn primarily from the artist’s personal archive, as well as studio archives and the private collections of Burton’s collaborators. Included are little-known drawings, paintings, and sculptures created in the spirit of contemporary Pop Surrealism, as well as work generated during the conception and production of his films, such as original The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride puppets; Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Sleepy Hollow costumes; and even severed-head props from Mars Attacks! Also featured are the first public display of his student art and earliest nonprofessional films; examples of his work for the flash animation internet series The World of Stainboy (2000); a selection of the artist’s oversized Polaroid prints; graphic art and texts for non-film projects, like The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997) and Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys (2003) collectible figure series; and art from a number of early unrealized projects. Additionally, a selection of international posters from Burton’s films will be on display in the theater lobby galleries." Concurrently, MoMA will be screening all of Burton's movies, including some rarely seen experimental shorts.

I love Burton's quirky universe, and I'm glad to see this, but I'm puzzled why we see retrospectives of pop culture icons like Burton and concept art from Pixar, but not a retrospective of a key comic artist like Art Spiegelman, who helped reshape the medium. Museum culture moves in mysterious ways... The exhibition will be on view from November 22, 2009, through April 26, 2010. More details here on MOMA's site.

Graphic on top left: Tim Burton. Untitled (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories). 1982–84. Pen and ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, 10 x 9" (25.4 x 22.9 cm). Private collection. Graphic on lower left: Tim Burton, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas storyboard. 1993. Pen and ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, 5 x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm). Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

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