An exhibition of work by Art Spiegelman, an artist who has made his mark on many aspects of cartooning, Projects 32 coincides with the publication of MAUS II: A Survivor’s Tale, and Here My Troubles Began, the second volume of Spiegelman’s two-volume cartoon-strip book that tells the story of his father’s experience of the Holocaust. The installation includes all the original pages for both parts of MAUS, as well as ancillary sketches, preparatory drawings and layouts of individual sections, and source materials used by Spiegelman.
Art Spiegelman has spent over a decade working on MAUS, a landmark in the transformation of comic-book art which began in the 1960s. MAUS and MAUS II follow the tribulations of Vladek Spiegelman from the ghetto to Auschwitz to the Catskills. At the same time, the books also reveal the difficult relationship between the artist and his aging father. In these cartoons, the Jews are depicted as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. Such animal symbolism has frequently been used to tell fables, but here it serves to make us remember and reconsider harsh historical events and their complex psychological legacy. Immensely powerful in its combination of humor, horror, and pathos, Spiegelman’s narrative is graphic in every sense.
Organized by Robert Storr, curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
The Projects series is made possible by generous grants from The Bohen Foundation, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and the National Endowment for the Arts.