Three Authors And Their Art At Museum Of Curiosities
Three groundbreaking 20th century authors open the new Hendrick's Gallery at Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. This exhibition brings together the visual art of Nobel-prize winning Gunter Grass, Gormenghast creator Mervyn Peake and Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, whose work, Lanark: A Life in Four Books, unfolds in a surrealist, dystopian Glasgow.
Prints and drawings by the three writers are grouped and displayed throughout the exhibition space, interspersed by taxidermy, African masks and other curios. The effect is both opulent and disconcerting. Alasdair Gray's print illustrations from Lanark dominate with their detail and colour, and the intensity of detail recalls Arts and Crafts illuminations. These are artworks inspired by the very structures of books and draw upon the history of illustration in their rich complexity.
In contrast to Gray's works are Gunter Grass's stark, graphic sketches. There are several illustrations of a flounder, including one that has been partially consumed. Grass re-told a German folktale about a fisherman and his wife in the novel The Flounder, which was decried for its possible anti-feminist stance. Could the picture of the toad with a fountain pen be a tongue-in-cheek response?
Mervyn Peake was a prolific artist and painter, and his manuscripts for Gormenghast were rich in drawings and sketches of both the characters and their world. Many of his drawings are displayed here, full of eccentric detail and almost feverish imagination.
Alasdair Gray / Mervyn Peake / Gunter Grass continues at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, 11 Mare Street E8 4RP, until February 2016. Free entry. All images courtesy of Theresa Simon and Viktor Wynd.
Last Updated 29 September 2015