The invention of the printing press not only led to the mass distribution of texts and images, but also the development of the picture-story genre that dealt with popular, secular topics. Illustrated political flyers contributed significantly to the "democratization" of knowledge. If not earlier, when daily newspapers emerged as a mass medium, these picture stories, such as the German illustrated broadsheets, appealed to the entire population. The Hamburger Kunstverein held an exhibition which, for the first time, presented picture stories from the last several centuries from Europe, Japan, the United States and Iran. In selecting works for the exhibition, the curator Florian Waldvogel focused on picture stories with political themes.
The exhibition revealed the conditions under which picture stories were produced and received. Narrative and educational elements explain their socio-political function regardless of how much visitors already know about art history. This democratic gesture was also reflected in the design of the exhibition with an art educational emphasis on the history of images. The accompanying publication (designed as an illustrated broad sheet), a lecture series, discussions, seminars and workshops appealed to a large audience.
Curator: Florian Waldvogel
Curatorial staff: Michael Asher (US), Scott McCloud (US), Christoph Steinegger (AT)
Artists: Albrecht Dürer / Art Spiegelman (US), Rube Goldberg (US) / Vernon Green (US), Hokusai (J) / Golo (Guy Nadeau) (F), Francisco de Goya (E) / Jake und Dinos Chapman (GB), Hans Holbein / Martin Arnold (A), Jörg Immendorff / Jules Feiffer (US), Henry Moore (GB) / Joe Sacco (US), Richard Felton Outcault (US) / Raymond Pettibon (US), Alfred Rethel / Grayson Perry (GB), Thomas Rowlandson (GB) / Marjane Satrapi (IR) and others
Venue and schedule:
Kunstverein Hamburg, 19 December 2009 - 14 March 2010
Kunstverein in Hamburg