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Ronald Searle - Graphic Master (19.02.10)
If you're in London some time between March and the start of July,
you should make a beeline for The Cartoon Museum in Great
Russell Street, W1, where they'll be staging a rather spiffing
exhibition celebrating the 90th birthday of Ronald Searle.
People bandy about the word "genius" all-too easily, nowadays.
But Searle is one. No question. He's spent seventy-five years in
the field, producing extraordinary cartoon work for the likes of
The Cambridge Daily News, The News Chronicle, Life,
Holiday, The Sunday Express, Punch, The Tribune and
more recently, Le Monde. His famous anthologies and collections
include "Merry England", "The Rake's Progress", "The Great
Fur Opera" and he illustrated four classic books starring that
schoolboy brat Nigel Molesworth. He's also stepped into animated
realms via credit sequences for "Those Magnificent men in Their
Flying Machines" and "Monte Carlo or Bust" and the full-length
feature "Dick Deadeye".
And then, of course, there are those delightfully demure
St Trinian's schoolgirls. The minxes first saw print in 1941, and
they continue to loom large over Searle's career. They really have
become part of the cartoon fabric of the UK, as familiar to us Brits
as Davey Law's Dennis the Menace, Thelwell's ponies or Giles'
Grandma. And they're back in vogue again right now, via the two
up-to-the-minute live-action films. But there's so much more to
Searle, there really is...
"He had a huge effect on me. I wanted to draw like him.
His pen was always searching, exploring every nook and
cranny of his subject. His exciting, electric style
- Gerald Scarfe
The Cartoon Museum's exhibition will feature 140 works, covering
all aspects of Ronald Searle's illustrious career. And a number of
the world’s leading cartoonists and filmmakers have produced
artworks in homage to him, and written pieces for the exhibition
catalogue, principally Steve Bell, Roger Law, Mike Leigh, Uli
Meyer, Arnold Roth, Martin Rowson, Posy Simmonds, Ralph
Steadman and another toon genius quoted above, Gerald Scarfe.
We're also told that Searle himself has been closely involved in
the mounting of the exhibition, lending artwork and drawing
materials and assisting with research through an in-depth
Ronald Searle - Graphic Master will run from March 3rd to
July 4th 2010 at The Cartoon Museum, Great Russell Street,
More: The Cartoon Museum
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