Images

Leela Corman

Ruthless Ruby (from Victory Parade)

Graphite, ink, gouache, watercolor, & acrylic on vellum Bristol

14h x 11w in

LCorman040

Press Release

Steven Kasher Gallery is proud to announce the exhibition Leela Corman: Victory Parade mounted in collaboration with Philip Williams Posters and Pantheon Books. The exhibition will feature over 40 works on paper dating from 2017 through 2024. It marks the April 2nd launch of Corman’s new graphic novel, Victory Parade. This is Corman’s first solo exhibition in New York.

     

     Opening: Sat., April 6th, 5-8 PM. The artist will be present and signing books.

     Dates: April 6th through April 27th.

     Location: Philip Williams Posters, 122 Chambers St., NY, NY 10007

     Hours: Mon.- Sat. 10 AM-7 PM

 

Victory Parade  is a graphic novel of love, loss, and trauma made up of Corman’s exquisite ink and watercolor drawings. It is an Expressionist journey through the battlefields of the human heart and the mass gravesites of genocide. Part 1 is set in World War II Brooklyn: the Navy Yards, the East River, Coney Island, tenements, a cafeteria, a wrestling arena.  Corman paints a cornucopia of dramatic personae with ultra-ripe eyes. The emigre Ruthie (Rifke) becomes the wrestler Ruthless Ruby the Killer Kraut.  Rifke’s dead mother appears in a dream. Rose Arensberg, a riveter, seeks comfort in the arms of a WW1 veteran in a neighboring apartment. There is a flashback to Ruthie’s feral childhood in Weimar Berlin. Then Corman’s audacity takes another turn in the book’s later chapters, concentration camp scenes. Corman rises to the challenge of Spielberg, Lanzmann, Resnais, Ophuls, Wertmuller. She directs an extraordinary cast of original Holocaust characters. A Black G.I. who learned Yiddish from his Boston neighbors. A German visitor who vomits at the pile of corpses she is forced to smell, begs for a cigarette, has smoke blown in her blond face. A Commandant who is put to the gallows, and in fourteen mystic drawings is dissolved into the black shards of a Malevich painting of nothingness. Prisoners barely alive or just dead become speaking ghosts. The ghosts have sea-green eyes without pupils. They are not blind. They see differently. They see the living and the dead.

 

An Online Exhibition of Corman’s work, including drawings in the exhibition, is here:

https://features.stevenkasher.com/viewing-room/leela-corman#tab:slideshow;tab-2:thumbnails

 

Leela Corman is a painter and graphic novel creator. Corman was brought up on the isle of Manahatta (Lenape land) but spends much of her imagination in the Old World. Her books include Unterzakhn (Schocken/Pantheon, 2012)  and You Are Not A Guest (Field Mouse Press, 2023). Her books have been nominated for and awarded many prizes, including the Eisner, the L.A. Times Book Award, Le Prix Artemisia. Her comics and illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, The Believer Magazine, Tablet Magazine, The Nib, Nautilus. Her drawings are in several important art collections. She teaches at the R.I.S.D. She offers her stories as inoculations: “Each one is like a gigantic lullaby for people whose grief is exhausting.  A cave to crawl into, where our sorrow is seen, and we are allowed to rest.”

 

Established in 1973 by the renowned director and avid collector Philip Williams, Philip Williams Posters is a salon-style gallery, a museum-like journey that stands alone, a true New York City institution. Located in Tribeca, the gallery encompasses a staggering 12,600 square feet, making it home to one of the world’s largest private vintage poster collections. With over 100,000 posters dating from 1870 to the present, it offers a remarkable glimpse into the evolution of poster art. In addition to posters, the gallery features a rotating display of advertising ephemera and various other forms of art. Notably, they showcase over 2,000 original paintings and sculptures, primarily sourced from Southern artists. Their website: https://postermuseum.com/

 

Since 1995 Steven Kasher Gallery has introduced work not seen before in art galleries: the work of Black photographers including Ming Smith, photographs of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panthers, the photography of the Village Voice and of Max’s Kansas City, American mugshots and tintypes, the vintage prints of Mike Disfarmer, photographer Vivian Maier, many other underrecognized photographers and genres. Lately, the gallery has introduced female graphic artists Leela Corman, Emil Ferris, Tara Booth, Sophie Crumb, and others. Our website: https://www.stevenkasher.com/

 

For further information please contact steve@stevenkasher.com