The works of editorial cartoonist Michael de Adder are on display at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.
The exhibition, called Drawing Conclusions, features 400 of de Adder’s drawings. He is working as an artist in residence, and will be working to deadline at the gallery.
“I always wanted to have a show like this. When I was first starting off, I wanted to be a painter. I sort of accidentally became a cartoonist,” de Adder said. “So the goal was to have gallery shows and I sort of slipped in the back door here.”
The exhibition focuses on cartoons as a “serious art form.” The drawings on display were created as early as 1988, before de Adder was officially a professional editorial cartoonist.
The pieces on display were chosen by exhibition curator Virgil Hammock.
“We wanted to have cartoons on the walls that most people would understand. So picking either issues that people in Fredericton and New Brunswick would understand, and international and national things–they recognize the character,” Hammock said.
Hammock said he had to choose from over 2,000 pieces, and de Adder added he didn’t have a say in which drawings were selected.
One key imagine in the show is his cartoon relating to the Charlie Hebdo killings.
“The Charlie Hebdo cartoon I drew on ‘freedom of expression’ or ‘freedom of the press’ probably is the number one because on that day, it was particularly hard,” de Adder said. “And I was able to come up with an image that sort of summed up the events for how I felt.”
Exhibition attendee Dan Gleason said the exhibit is thought-provoking and interesting.
“I see this art as the most public form of art and I really think it’s neat for the gallery,” Gleason said.
Gleason added he never thought of editorial cartoons as art, but after seeing the drawings wallpapered on the gallery walls, he thinks it’s a great expansion of the world of art.
Director/CEO and head curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Terry Graff said he’s extremely pleased to have de Adder’s work on display, along with seven other exhibits.
“I think we need artists like Michael to show us the reality of things: things that are going on and what you can do with pictures, sometimes you just can’t do with words or with very few words,” Graff said.
“Michael’s able to distill a political folly–an event–and make us laugh, but also make us think and challenge us to see what’s really going on.”