Friday, February 10, 2012

LA: John Norment Gallery Show

The New Puppy Gallery in Los Angeles hosts a Gallery Showing of Cartoonist John Norment's Abstract Watercolors from February 11 to March 11, 2012.

John Norment (1911-1988) was not only an artist, he was a prolific commercial illustrator and cartoonist. Although the New Puppy show focuses on his art, I thought that the event was well worth talking about here.

From the press release:

New Puppy Gallery in Los Angeles will host the first gallery exhibition since 1980 of John Norment’s abstract watercolors. Over 40 of these works will be on display at New Puppy, complemented by a selection of Norment’s original cartoon artwork.

The cartoons of John Murray Norment (1911-1988) contributed to American popular culture over five decades. His often absurd, always succinct, and occasionally racy cartoons appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, Saturday Review, Look, Collier’s, Ladies’ Home Journal, Punch, Philadelphia Inquirer, True, Argosy, and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine among others.

The artist illustrated two covers for The New Yorker (1978, 1980) and edited and/or illustrated over a dozen joke books from the 50s to the 70s. In 1954, he was editor for Dell Publishing's humor magazines and continued in other capacities with Dell until 1965 when he moved to the Norcross Greeting Card Company to create humorous, playful designs. He later won a Silver T-Square Award during a five-year stint editing Cartoonist for the National Cartoonist Society.

Norment’s cartoon background is evident in this set of watercolor and ink works started in 1968, but for which exact dates are unclear – his niece found the stash after his death in 1988 and was previously unaware of them.

Most of the work is abstract, featuring vivid mid-century geometric designs. Others are more
illustrative including the original artwork for two rejected covers for The New Yorker.

Opening night for John Norment: Mid-Century Watercolors will be held during the NELA Second Saturday Gallery Night, February 11 from 7pm to 11pm. Admission is free.

1 comment:

Richard Deverell Illustrator said...

This is lovely work. I wish I were closer so I could visit this exhibition! Reminds me a little of Giles - a very British cartoonist.