The Art of Charles Vess in Two New York Museum Exhibitions09.16.2005
September 15, 2005 — Renowned fantasy illustrator Charles Vess of Green Man Press in Abingdon, VA has just returned from a weekend in New York, NY where he and his wife attended opening receptions for two exciting exhibitions in which he is a participating artist.
The first is a group show entitled "Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art" on display at the Museum of American Illustration. It is the first exhibition of a selection of original artworks that have appeared in the first 11 volumes of The Spectrum Annual, a prestigious art magazine listing the work of award-winning artists in the fields of fantasy and science fiction. The show opened September 7 and will run through October 1, 2005. The curators selected two Charles Vess paintings, "The Corn King" and "The Faery Reel."
The Museum of American Illustration is located at the headquarters of the Society of Illustrators (128 East 63rd Street, NY, NY, 10021) which features a world-class collection of work by the most beloved names in American art, including such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and J.D. Layendecker among many others.
Some of the creators featured in the Spectrum show include Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan, Leo and Diane Dillon, James Gurney, Donato Giancola, John Jude Palencar, Gary Gianni, Alan Lee, James Warhola, and many, many more. This is the largest gathering of work (almost 200 pieces) by fantastic artists in over a decade ? and each one a masterpiece. The exhibit fills up both galleries in the museum space.
Vess' work is also featured in a two-man show in "Modern Fairy Tales" at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA), from September 10-January 6, 2006. This show contains 25 pieces from Vess' Ballads series and "Stardust" images. He shares the space with Michael Kaluta's intricate paintings from "The Lord of the Rings," "Straight on Until Morning" and a Celtic calendar.
In MoCCA's "Modern Fairy Tales," Kaluta's and Vess' distinctive and award-winning art is brought together for the very first time in a museum, showing how traditional storytelling and art translate beautifully into the contemporary comic medium. With the evolution of the comic book, Vess and Kaluta have not only found a medium to fuel the fantastic images of fairy tales to new heights, but have set new standards in the realm of comic book art as well. Weaving the influences of such art masters as Arthur Rackham and Alphonse Mucha into their works, Kaluta and Vess show a versatility in style that bridges the gap between comics and fine illustration.
A marriage of old and new, this exhibit blends together works inspired by traditional tales from Celtic mythology, ancient songs, and visions from modern storytellers such as Neil Gaiman and JRR Tolkien.
Vess is presently hard at work on a lavishly illustrated, special limited edition of George R.R. Martin's epic "A Storm of Swords" (Subterranean Press) as well as an upcoming Neil Gaiman inspirational book "The Blueberry Girl" (Harper Collins). Tor Publishers re-released hardcover and paperback versions of Vess' "The Book of Ballads" this year.