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Being, Nothingness and Much, Much More: Roz Chast, Beyond The New Yorker

July 12 - October 19, 2014


The Bruce Museum launched a new exhibition on July 12, 2014 entitled Being, Nothingness and Much, Much More: Roz Chast, Beyond The New Yorker. The show is presenting approximately 30 works by Roz Chast, an American cartoonist, best known for her contributions of cartoons and cover art for The New Yorker magazine. (right: A collection of eggs decorated by Roz Chast; Photo by Paul Mutino)

The works by Roz Chast, on loan from the artist and the archives of The New Yorker, include many examples of Ms. Chast's iconic work from The New Yorker, as well as prints and drawings from other projects.

In addition to Ms. Chast's cartoons, prints and drawings, also on display will be tapestries and painted eggs decorated with the artist's signature images in the pysanky tradition. Easter egg, or pysanka, decorating is an expression of traditional Ukrainian folk art. This tradition's beginnings reach back to antiquity, when in attempting to understand creation, ancient people developed myths in which the egg was perceived as the source of life, the sun and the universe. The Ukrainian pysanka (from the word pysaty, to write) was believed to possess an enormous power not only in the egg itself, which harbored the nucleus of life, but also in the symbolic designs and colors which were drawn upon the egg in a specific manner, according to prescribed rituals. The intricately colored eggs were used for various social and religious occasions and were considered to be a talisman, a protector against evil, as well as harbingers of good.

Roz Chast, now a Connecticut resident, was born in Flatbush Brooklyn, and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her cartoons first began appearing in New York City publications including The Village Voice. Since the late 1970's her work has been featured frequently in The New Yorker, and in 1986 her work was featured on the cover of the magazine for the first time.

Ms. Chast has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, including the just-released and critically acclaimed Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, a graphic novel and New York Times best seller which chronicles her relationship with her parents as they each approached the end of life. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant was favorably reviewed in The New York Times last month, and was previewed in The New Yorker in March.

Other books Ms. Chast has authored include: Unscientific Americans, Parallel Universes, Mondo Boxo, Proof of Life on Earth, The Four Elements, The Party After You Left: Collected Cartoons 1995­2003 (Bloomsbury, 2004) and Theories of Everything: Selected Collected and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006, a collection of most of her cartoons from The New Yorker and other periodicals. Ms. Chast also illustrated The Alphabet from A to Y, with Bonus Letter, Z, the best-selling children's book by Steve Martin.

"We are delighted to be showing the work of our friend and fellow Connecticut resident Roz Chast," says Peter C. Sutton, Executive Director of the Bruce Museum. "We are fortunate to have such a talent right in our backyard. Roz's works bring humor as well as wit and charm to the Museum."

Being, Nothingness and Much, Much More: Roz Chast, Beyond The New Yorker opened on July 12, 2014 in the Museum's Lecture Gallery and continues through October 19, 2104. The exhibition is generously underwritten by Anne Hall Elser and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.


(above: Roz Chast, Cracked Egg; Photo by Paul Mutino)

(above: Roz Chast, Carrots and Peas, Tapestry; Photo by Paul Mutino)

(above: Roz Chast, Other Rembrandt Misattributions, 1995; Ink and wash on paper, 8 x 12 inches; Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT; Gift of the Melvin R. Seiden Collection, 2006.47.01; Photo by Paul Mutino)

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