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 is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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