Exhibition: ‘Infinite Jest’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Amanda Strasik on September 16, 2011

Now on at the Met:

Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 13 September 2011 — 4 March 2012

Curated by Constance McPhee and Nadine Orenstein

ISBN: 9780300175813, $45

The exhibition explores caricature and satire in its many forms from the Italian Renaissance to the present, drawn primarily from the rich collection of this material in the Museum’s Department of Drawings and Prints. The show includes drawings and prints by Leonardo da Vinci, Eugène Delacroix,Francisco de Goya, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Enrique Chagoya alongside works by artists more often associated with humor, such as James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson,Honoré Daumier, Al Hirschfeld, and David Levine. Many of these engaging caricatures and satires have never been exhibited and are little known except to specialists. . . .

The second section of the exhibition will explore social satire expressed in works devoted to eating and drinking, gambling, male and female fashion, art, and crowds. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are known as the golden age of caricature and satire, with William Hogarth, Gillray, Rowlandson, and George Cruikshank producing lively examples in Britain, and Honoré Daumier and Boilly doing the same in France. These artists cleverly inserted recognizable caricatures into satirical frameworks to mock contemporary society. Extreme fashion provided satirists with an ever-changing source of humor beginning in the 1760s and a selection of sartorial caricatures will be on view. . .

Carol Vogel reviewed the exhibition for The New York Times (12 May 2011).

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