East Meets West

February 21, 2003

The next SVA blockbuster exhibition is right around the corner. Picturing the Times: Eastern European Illustrators at The New York Times is taking place March 3 – 25 at the Visual Arts Museum, 209 East 23 Street; Reception: March 3, 6 – 8pm. Also, there will be a panel discussion by and about the artists, and moderated by MFA Illustration as Visual Essay chair Marshall Arisman, March 6 at 7pm at the museum. The Visual Arts Museum is open 9am to 6:30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 9am to 8pm on Thursday; and Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

This unprecedented exhibition, consisting of sketches, finished drawings, and actual newspaper pages, features the work of 17 exceptional artists from Eastern Europe. For more than 30 years they’ve been creating illustrations and graphic commentaries for The New York Times Op-Ed page and Sunday Book Review. The unusual quality of their work, heavily influenced by dadaism and surrealism, distinguishes it from that of their American and Western European counterparts. Formed under the strictures of authoritarian regimes, these artists were used to employing double meanings and intentional ambiguities, designed to steer their work past the heavy hand of the censors. The exhibition, curated by Visual Arts Museum director Francis DiTommaso and writer/editor Dan Nadel, is made possible in part by The New York Times and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.

Image: by Mirko Ilic (from The New York Times)

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