Beyond the Illustration

TJC Gallery, Spartanburg SC
January 31, 2024 – April 20, 2024

“Certainly, from the beginning, the printed word and the printed image have been closely associated with one another.” – Boyd Saunders

Illustration is all around us, from our formative childhood encounters with picture books and cartoons to the advertising and images of mass culture. Beyond the Illustration features artists who worked in media ranging from comics to newsprint, children’s books, magazine covers, preparatory drawings, and documentary journals exhibited in tandem with examples from their more traditional fine art careers.

Although often excluded from the world of “fine art,” illustration can nevertheless be an important and lucrative avenue for artists to establish themselves. Illustration prizes bright colors, sharp outlines, dynamic figures, and storytelling. Although many illustrators eventually graduate from illustration to more traditional forms of fine art, their early exposure to illustration often shapes their subsequent aesthetic sensibilities and artistic techniques. For example, Harrison Cady’s theatrical landscapes retained the stylistic inheritance of his earlier illustration work on the beloved Peter Rabbit comic series. Philip Morsberger’s painting practice was deeply influenced by the cartoons and comics of his youth. And Palmer Shoppe’s jazzlike painting style was honed during his employment as a Disney Studio illustrator.

Such diversity of styles, motives, and formats invites us to reflect on the evolving role of the illustrator, the complicated relationship between the fine arts and commercial interests, and the legacy and influence of illustration within the visual culture of our daily lives.

Featured Artists: Henry FaulknerEdmund Ashe, Ernie Barnes, George Biddle, Margaret Burroughs, Harrison CadyAdèle Clark, Lyonel Feininger, Reuben Gambrell, Henry Gasser, Marie Hull, Helen Hyde, Margaret Law, Corrie McCallum, Philip MorsbergerHelen DuPré Moseley, Paul Plaschke, Boyd Saunders, Palmer Schoppe, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Eugene Thomason, Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, and Amelia Watson

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They Don't Get Out of Their Frames Much 

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