We round up the reviews for this new exhibition at Somerset House.
The Guardian: ***** “Critics are all about having rules, or at least opinions. As my cartoon self says in the comic strip: “It’s a MESS-TERPIECE!” How could I possibly disagree?”
The Times: **** “A new exhibition at Somerset House, celebrating 70 years of The Beano and its influence, delights longtime fan Patrick Kidd”
The Telegraph: **** “A new exhibition dedicated to the popular British comic and its influence revels in anti-authoritarianism.”
Londonist: ***** “Curated to chaotic perfection by artist and lifelong Beano fan Andy Holden, Somerset House’s show yanks you into the vibrant pages of the 83-years-young Scottish comic (including massive cutouts of heroes like Minnie the Minx, and a Bash Street Kids classroom, where you sit at desks and scour original layouts).”
iNews: “Colourful, bold and playful, walking through a recreated Beanotown, past Beano’s Record Shop and Bash Street School is like stepping inside the comic.”
Sky News: ” It’s a warm and fascinating exhibition, and what’s interesting is how unusual it is for the arts establishment to excavate our indigenous comics’ heritage like this. Illustrators such as Leo Baxendale, Dudley Watkins and Ken Reid, all of them almost completely anonymous, week after week formed the mental furniture of generations of children.”
Creative Review.co.uk: “Somerset House’s new exhibition explores the comic’s lasting, subversive influence, finding links between its gleeful rule-breaking and the work of contemporary artists and creatives.”
The Spectator: “So commissioning 50 artists who were influenced by the Beano often involved Holden contacting artists on a hunch that their work was, albeit unconsciously, inspired by reading the Beano as children. The hunches have paid dividends. The resulting exhibition includes a rather lovely re-imaging of an L.S. Lowry mill scene called ‘Beanotown’ by David Litchfield, with the glum matchstalk men and women replaced by jaunty Beano characters. Horace Panter’s painting ‘Splash’ has Dennis and Gnasher diving into a Californian pool pinched from David Hockney’s famous painting. Alex Chinneck’s ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti’ features a pillar box twisted into a knot as if Minnie the Minx and Pansy Potter have been hard at work.”
Beano: The Art of of Breaking Rules is on display at Somerset House until the 6th March 2022.