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Picturing the Times: Eastern European Illustrators at The New York Times

March 3 - 25, 2003
Lobby gallery at Visual Arts Museum showing two framed artworks on the left wall and in the center of the space is a red-painted wall with the exhibition title “Picturing The Times” next to a staircase.
Credit: “Picturing The Times: Eastern European Illustrators at The New York Times,” Visual Arts Museum, March 3 - 25, 2003


Mon, Mar 3; 6:00 - 8:00pm

The School of Visual Arts has just announced the artists for the upcoming exhibition, Picturing the Times: Eastern European Illustrators at The New York Times. The exhibition will be held at the College’s Visual Arts Museum, March 3 – March 25, 2003; the museum is located at 209 East 23 Street in Manhattan. 

Picturing the Times, which will consist of sketches, finished drawings, and actual newspaper pages, features the work of 17 exceptional artists from Eastern Europe. For more than 30 years they’ve been creating prodigious quantities of illustrations and graphic commentaries for the New York Times Op-Ed page and Sunday Book Review.

Following is a complete list of the artists in Picturing the Times:

Istvan Banyai (Hungary), Rafal Olbinski (Poland), Ray Bartkus (Lithuania), Istvan Orosz (Hungary), Maris Bishofs (Latvia), Duszan Petricic (Yugoslavia), Andrzej Dudzinski (Poland), Rodica Prato (Romania), Mirko Ilic (Croatia), Peter Sis (Czech Republic), Janusz Kapusta (Poland), TIM (Francois Mittelberg, Poland), Igor Kopelnitsky (Ukraine), Roland Topor (Poland), Boris Kulikov (Russia), Jugoslav Vlahovic (Yugoslavia), Eugene Mihaesco (Romania)

These artists came from behind the Iron Curtain--when one still existed--to provide a metaphor-rich visual language that helped define the graphic “persona” of the single most influential voice of the West, The New York Times.

The unusual quality of their work distinguishes it from that of their American and Western European counterparts. Formed under the strictures of authoritarian regimes, these artists were used to employing double meanings and intentional ambiguities, designed to steer their work past the heavy hand of the censors.

This renowned group of artists forged a bold and memorable style whose impact stemmed from the convergence of several factors: their rigorous artistic training; the stark quality of their Eastern European worldview; the influence of dadaism and surrealism; and the tumultuous, but decidedly inspiring, political climate of the Cold War. Also crucial to the emergence of these artists was the support they had from The New York Times’ corporate art director Louis Silverstein and Op-Ed page art director Jean Claude Suarès.

This exhibition is a vivid record of The Times’s graphic style, a language really, that continues to influence artists everywhere as it transmits ideas to millions of readers throughout the world. In recognition of its significance, there will be a panel discussion about the artists and their work on March 6, 2003 at 7pm in the Visual Arts Amphitheater (209 East 23 Street). The panel will be moderated by Marshall Arisman, chair of the College’s MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department.

The exhibition’s curators are the museum’s director, Francis DiTommaso, and writer/editor Dan Nadel.

Picturing the Times is being sponsored in part by The New York Times Company, which is providing marketing support for this unprecedented exhibition.

Free and open to the public