- Full Description
A monograph on the forgotten visionary artist Herbert Crowley (1873 – 1937), a British artist, set designer, and comic strip cartoonist. He exhibited in the Armory Show alongside Picasso, was published in the New York Herald alongside Winsor McCay--and mysteriously vanished. Crowley was an innovator at the dawn of comics, and a defining figure of the early 20th century avant-garde. His newspaper strip The Wigglemuch was printed next to Little Nemo in the New York Herald. He had a close relationship with Carl Jung, and was a noted mainstay of the burgeoning NYC experimental art scene. And yet he's been essentially erased from history.
Aside from a very small selection of his comics, none of his artwork has been published or collected in any form. Until now. Over the course of six years of deep research, the editors unearthed a huge number of Crowley paintings, sculptures, illustrations, comics, prints, engravings and ephemera. Contained in this tome you'll find hundreds of jaw-dropping images of otherworldly shrines, whimsical cartoons, grotesque creatures, nightmares and dreamscapes. You will encounter impossible symbolism, encrypted glyphs, and the yearning visual poetry of a brilliant, tormented spirit. Enter The Temple of Silence, and behold the strange, astonishing visions of a lost legend of modern art.
His illustrations were featured alongside work by Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh in the 1913 Armory Show that gave birth to modern art in America. This impressive, oversized hardcover offers his work in the best light. Behind deluxe embossed and illustrated covers are handsomely large reproductions, many from the original artwork. Quite a few Wigglemuch Sunday pages are here in double-page size. His sculptures remind us a bit of the work of Clark Ashton Smith, and his fantasy illustrations make me think of the fine work of Sidney Sime, who would have been a contemporary.
Here's a small portion of an online review from author Dan Nadel of The Comics Journal:
There are, as we increasingly know, a startling variety of artists who came through comics in one way or another. One of the most unusual was Herbert Crowley, who only published fourteen installments of "The Wigglemuch" in The New York Herald in 1910, some of which I reprinted in my 2006 book, Art Out of Time. Then Crowley mostly vanished from the published record. Some of the original art for these strips, along with other drawings, were exhibited in 1966 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in a two-person show with Winsor McCay, an exhibition that I remember some of the NYC-based underground cartoonists mentioning as important.
Looking back on my own interest in the strip, now I realize that "The Wiggglemuch" strips were partly compelling because Crowley suggested an affinity with a larger and also esoteric visual and literary culture, which was unusual in comics at the time. The spiritual allusions, stiffness, and symbol-driven character design also suggested another way to think about comics entirely: less drawing-based and more like moving sculptures. I wondered then, as many others did, just how he intersected with comics. As it turns out, Crowley really was just stopping over. His life and work is now the subject of a large and generously illustrated book, Herbert Crowley: The Temple of Silence by Justin Duerr. It is the kind of scholarly and research-driven deep dive that I wish for about... well, most everything. Duerr gathers every conceivable strand of Crowley's unusual and extremely complicated life and work and weaves them together into a coherent and quite moving whole.
More of the review can be found here: http://www.tcj.com/reviews/herbert-crowley-the-temple-of-silence/
- Additional Information
Item Code TEMPH Publisher Beehive Publish Date 2019 ISBN 9780997372991 Binding Hard Cover - No Dustjacket Dimensions 11x17 # Pages 108pg Color Partial Color
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