What Nerve!: Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present by Dan Nadel, Dominic Molon, Roger Brown and Robert Cozzolino (RISD Museum of Art/D.A.P) $40.00 - What Nerve! reveals a hidden history of American figurative painting, sculpture and popular imagery. It documents and/or restages …
188p, color, softcover, 7"x10"
Memory is such a densely-packed anthology, I hardly remember a thing! The narrative-driven comics work jumps around tremendously, both in style and subject, and there's a "something for everyone" approach to the way the book is laid out that makes it hard to ignore. The act of reading it always feels like you're finding something you missed before. Conversely, there's also a "grab bag" aspect to this style where it's hard to figure out if there's an order to why this work is bundled up together. What ends up commanding the most attention are striking stand-alone illustrations by Steph Neary, Tim Molloy and Gerald Butalwicz in remarkably different styles that all jump out as sharply as Jim Rugg's Robert-Beaty-Style cover. Besides these interesting rest stops in the narative onslaught, several comics rise above, most notably Alice Leoni's fantastic short comic of snakey jumpsuits which is interestingly composed and strangely told- a piece to return to and an artist to seek out. -EF