Erró: American Comics
February 8 – April 30, 2015
Galerie Ernst Hilger at Mana presents a collection of works by one of Iceland’s foremost Pop artists, Erró, who is known for his paintings based on collage
Mana Contemporary is pleased to announce the traveling of its 2014 exhibition Erró: American Comics to Mana Contemporary Chicago in 2015. Presented by Vienna-based Galerie Ernst Hilger, which operates its U.S. location from a space at Mana’s New Jersey headquarters, the show focuses on the Icelandic artist’s distinctive use of American comic books and pop culture imagery as inspiration for his large-scale paintings.
The exhibition’s eleven works, created between 1979 and 2009, represent two significant, recurring themes in Erró’s work: his popular Scapes series, where large canvases are filled with countless fragments of comic book-inspired imagery, and his superhero-themed sagas, which feature icons like Wonder Woman and Tank Girl replicated ad infinitum. To make his painted assemblages, the artist first creates a traditional cut-and-paste collage using images culled from newspapers, magazines, books, posters, advertisements, brochures, and comic books. He then translates the imagery to a canvas using acrylic paint, resulting in vibrant landscapes filled with humor, social commentary, and a dizzying sampling of contemporary visual culture.
Erró began using pop culture imagery in the mid-1960s, when he made several extended visits to New York City. He was fascinated with Pop Art, and met artists including Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. Erró shared their fascination with comic book graphics—specifically, the energy and excitement they emitted—and decided to incorporate the recognizable imagery into his paintings in an attempt to bridge the gap between high and low culture. Through his distinctive pictorial approach, Erró explores social and cultural contradictions in a world of never-ending consumption.