Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daumier at the BMA

The Birm. Mus. of Art has an exhibition of prints by the 19th cent. French newspaper illustrator/cartoonist Honore Daumier thru the end of the month. Prob. worth seeing if you care about that sort of thing. It's mostly lithographs, a few gilotages(?) and wood engravings. There are also some copies of the original publications the work appeared in.

The show is divided into topics such as daily life, theatre, politics, feminism (Daumier makes fun of those crazy women trying to write books and smoke cigars like men), ancient history, lawyers and politicans, etc.

The work spans many years, from something like the 30s to the 70s. To some extent you can see the drawings getting much more abbreviated and rapid later in his career (I imagine he's saying to himself "They still want more of these things! Always another greasy stone! Oy vey!" (or French equiv.) He lived thru some miserable years for France (and Europe) which he represents in one case with a skeleton contentedly playing double flutes in the aftermath of one carnage or another.

1 comment:

Garth Potts said...

I concur with Tim about Daumier. He was one of my heroes back in my art history days and we can all thank him for being one of early artist making cartoons popular. It must have been especially challenging with the old limestone drawing surface and printing press. Each color had to be "registered" (lined up perfectly). I'm pretty disappointed generally with the exhibitions and collection at the B'ham Museum, but this is a dramatic exception- beautifully displayed and thoroughly documented. I hope you all get to see the show. It'll be up through 12/31.