Comic Tendencies @ Eve Leibe

Detail of ‘Fugletitter’, Oda Iselin Sønderland, 2019

In a new exhibition opening at Eve Leibe in London, Gallery Girl wrote the exhibition text for Comic Tendencies.

Eve Leibe Gallery is pleased to present ‘Comic Tendencies’, a group featuring for the first time in London, Samantha Rosenwald, Oda Iselin Sønderland and Maurizio Bongiovanni. The works in the exhibition challenge the social expectations of feminine-masculing behaviours, defying rigid gender categories in an amusing light.

Appearing for centuries in magazines, newspapers and underground publications, comics illustrate cartoons, but also politics, popular culture, propaganda and subversion. While the bright colours, curved figures and storyboard format speaks to children, throughout history they have had the power to challenge the status quo, with its cartoon-like format providing the opportunity to critique and subvert reality.

Born and raised in the comically perfect Los Angeles, Samantha Rosenwald’s work uses humour to comment on female beauty expectations. Threading together contemporary culture, visual pun and the dogmas of art history, while utilizing the childlike medium of colouring pencils, she creates personal and absurd images of what it feels like to be alive.

Typically constructed in a sequence of panels, each image in a comic strip continues a story that doesn’t necessarily have an ending, transporting the reader into another world. Oda Iselin Sønderland found herself in the realm of Japanese anime and manga as a teenager and never quite left. Fascinated by the archetype sweet, innocent female character, her imaginative universe is full of recurring mirrors and reflections, giving an insight into the character’s psyche and a feeling of being watched.

Changing with the times, comics – and comic-like art – date as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings in France, changing and adapting to societies, cultures and desires. Through his painting, Maurizio Bongiovanni explores eroticism in the consumer society. Playing with the relationship between tragedy and sexuality, his practice speaks about the limits of chaos and existence.

Comic Tendencies is on display at Eve Leibe, 30 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RB until 19 October 2019

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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