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Karl Wirsum

Karl Wirsum 


Culled from dozens of the artist’s historic sketchbooks dating from 1967-70, this catalog was published on the occasion of the first New York City solo presentation of Wirsum’s work in over two decades, Karl Wirsum, Drawings: 1967-70 at Derek Eller Gallery. 


Karl Wirsum (b. 1939) is a Chicago native who first emerged in the mid-1960’s, creating paintings suffused with the energy of his urban environment, comic strips, and South American patterning. In his drawings, bulbous insects, tortoise shells, and feathered bird wings become human body parts, and forms derived from crustacean and beach ecology give way to male weightlifters and female pin-ups. Wirsum’s contour lines, rooted in the boldness of sign painting and mechanical reproduction, drive his drawings and inform his interior volumes. This push and pull between interior and exterior becomes more aggressive given the intensity of his pen marks, which leave grooves in the pages. These drawings highlight a visual thinker and compulsive draftsmen at an early peak.  As they are introduced to a new audience some four decades later, they look as alive today as the day they were formed. This catalog presents over 25 drawings accompanied by an essay by Dan Nadel. 


Publisher: Derek Eller Gallery     

Artist(s): Karl Wirsum 

Contributor(s): Dan Nadel, Lorri Gunn 

Designer: Norman Hathaway

Printer: Printed in Canada 

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Paperback 

Dimensions: 14 x 11 inches 

Pages: 29

Reproductions: illustrated throughout 

ISBN: 978-0-9845892-1-0

Retail: $19.95 US 

Status: unavailable 

Stock: Out of stock