Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Infinite Jest at the Met

Yesterday I went to the 'Infinite Jest' exhibition at the Met - a special collection of historical caricature and satirical drawings from the Renaissance to the present.

Early days my own drawings were deeply influenced by 19th century satirical artists; Thomas Rowlandson, George Cruikshank, Grandville, Dore. I drew with a crowquille pen point and even took on a 'nome de plume' litterally - Gillott is an old brand of pen points. That's how madly immersed I was.

I was crazy for Rowlandson.

And loved his pastel colors.

JJ Grandville turned everyone into animals.

'The exaggeration and juxtaposition of body types has been a longtime staple of humorous imagery'
'Le Triomphe de la Coquetterie' - two women fight over an enormous feathered bonnet - has anything changed?

Paris lines waiting to get into la musee are just the same.

And 'Free days' at the museum (1st Sunday of the month) are just as crowded by Daumier.

Waiting in train stations was the same except no smart phones.
Waiters still race about madly, 'Voila, voila, voila!'
Extreme Paris fashions? toujours le meme choise.

I was getting a Kale cooking lesson when I noticed a petite galerie des Gillotts from my crosshatch period - mon dieu!
Don't miss all the wit and fun at the Met's Infinite Jest expo on till March 4, 2012. Perhaps I'll get out my crowquill pens and play a bit.


  1. so many grandios details. fantastic composition and woooonderful colors.

  2. ,.~* Lovely ART WORK *~.,

  3. delightful, so talented

  4. Such wimsical artwork of yours!
    You've been hidding it under a...champignon!

  5. Terrific post. I was planning on going to the city some time soon and thinking 'what to do'.. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I like your early days drawing. The hat and mushroom balloons are terrific! great stuff.

  6. The sketch of the waiters running up and down the stairs is great! I'm always impressed by how fast they go when they're carrying loads of plates, especially because I take the stairs at a snail's pace.

    I'm going to tell my son, who is the artist in the family, that he MUST go to this expo when he's in NYC for Thanksgiving. He'll love it!

  7. Geri, NJ9:54 AM

    Why am I not surprised you have an artistic provenance...and who knew those charming little sketches were an actual genre! Thanks for the glimpse.

  8. Had no idea about Gillott. Love seeing all these drawings - especially the Paris 'queues'. Too right! Looks a fabulous exhibition. Wish I was there!

  9. Megan in WA10:44 AM

    Love PB,
    still want to know what happened with Vogue.

    I love kale, too

  10. Great stuff!

  11. Carol, an incredible post. I love it when you share your visits and insights to museum shows.

    I adore Grandville too!!

  12. I loving seeing and hearing about what inspires other artists and musicians. And sometimes it's the craziest things. Me? I get inspired by Johnny Cash when I'm stuck on composing or arranging something for the harp (Fulsom Prison Blues never fails to do it).

  13. So Gillott is not your real name????? Who knew??

  14. If I ate every pastry you sketched....I would look like this balloony floating pink guy!!

  15. http://www.archive.org/details/fablesdelfontain00lfonrich
    When you get your Touch Thingy here is where you can download for free all zillion pages of La Fontain Fables illustrated by Granville to your iBooks library en Francais.
    Amy, I love to listen to music when painting & my favorite Johnny Cash is Burning Ring of Fire. ASU has bought his childhood home to restore as a museum. Last month they had a Johnny Cash Festival - just about the whole family performed his songs.

  16. "So Gillott is not your real name?"
    Well I knew; but I ain't tellin'!
    Back in your crow-quill days is when I do believe I first had the pleasure o meeting you, Carol (?)So much fun having seen you...and your art, evolve.

  17. That is such fantastic artwork! I'm talking about your first piece at the top. Very cool!

  18. Merci for the Met tip, Carol.

    Another coincidence, I also used to love drawing with a straight pen and ink, and think that lead me to learning the etching technique. (One of my favorite Christmas gifts from my dad was a staff pen, a little box of pen points, a bottle of India Ink and some paper.

    Long ago, but still treasured.


  19. Wow, that is excellent, Carol!
    I love your early drawings, and all of the other samples you chose.
    (I think my favorite is the train station waiting room.)
    Gillott - interesting....

  20. Yr work is Wonderfully Victorian, love the mad balloons!

  21. Wonderful! Very glad to discover these artists, especially Rowlandson, who really caught my eye!

  22. Oh, Carol, DO get out your pens and have at it. Those are delightful! I've never seen those before--show us more, woman!! Fabulous. I'll bet that show is amazing. I'm a huge Levine fan, too. Have an excellent book of his work at home that I go back to over and over again. Didn't Rick Tulka study with him??

  23. Delphine7:15 AM

    It looks so fantastic!


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