Thursday, July 2, 2009

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero
September 26, 2009 - January 3, 2010
Free Preview Reception: September 25, 2009, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

A press release from the The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon says this show "features rare and valuable works by some of the most admired artists in the history of superhero comics, gathered from private collections from across the country, the exhibition will also present an extremely rare copy of Action Comics # 1 (left, 1938), featuring the first appearance of Superman. Mapping the path of the American superhero through a history of comics, this exhibition addresses the subject from many perspectives, including aesthetic achievements. The exhibition and accompanying symposium also examine the larger processes of social change through narratives and visual expressions of age, gender, race, religion, culture, and nationalism. Guest-curated by Ben Saunders, a professor in the Department of English, the exhibition focuses primarily on Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, and features original art by the masters of the genre."

This seems to be an obvious and popular title for a superhero show: there was a well-reviewed show called Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: Superheroes in Contemporary Art in Superman's hometown at the Museum of Modern Art Cleveland in 1999, which included works by Mel Ramos (they featured the Ramos Superman, 1962, before it was acquired by the de Young museum here in San Francisco) & Warhol (among others), emerging regional artists and comic art on loan from the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, FL (unfortunately, closed since).