Maira Kalman

Just Looking

April 25 - June 14, 2003

The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of gouache paintings on paper by renowned artist/ illustrator/ author Maira Kalman. This is Kalmans first solo gallery exhibition in New York, and her show will include close to forty works dating from the early 1980s to the present, along with notebooks and vernacular objects and ephemera which have inspired her work.

The selection of drawings will include some works done on assignment, and others created independently by Kalman. A predominate theme is the pleasures of cultivated nature- from beaches to lawns and hammocks. Kalmans world is populated by eccentric but familiar characters. The pets of famous designers featured in their stylish homes make up another series- Armanis cats line up in their minimalist kitchen, while Ralph Laurens shaggy dog lounges in his Adirondack setting. The palette is bold and deeply saturated, owing a debt to Matisse, but also coloring books. The color is so jewel like and joyful that for many years Kalman has preserved the cloths she uses to wipe her brushes, and these will also be part of the installation.

Kalman is probably best known for her childrens books and New Yorker illustrations- combining very adult wit and childlike silliness- neither speaking up or down to these respective age groups. Kalmans first book (twelve have been published to date) entitled Stay Up Late (text by artist/musician David Byrne and illustrated by Kalman) , ushered in a new era of childrens books which delight children but are not childlike. She has created nine covers for The New Yorker Magazine including the brilliant Newyorkistan” map (in collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz) published during the fall of 2001, perhaps the first media image which allowed us to lighten up after 9/11. She also created the poster image for the New Yorker Festival in 2002, and the original art will be included in our show. A portfolio of Kalmans observations on the fall couture shows in Paris was recently featured in The New York Times Magazine. Kalman was an English major and is self trained as a visual artist.

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