Cover, 2006
What It Is
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

          Adam Baumgold Gallery presents What It Is, the fourth New York solo exhibition at the gallery of famed cartoonist Lynda Barry from September 8th through October 28th. The exhibition will feature over 60 never before exhibited drawing collages from Barry’s 2008 book What It Is, as well as many of her original comic drawings published in Raw, The Village Voice, Esquire, Newsweek and The New York Times over the past 35 years. Also included in the exhibition will be work from Lynda Barry’s seminal books Two Sisters Comeek, Girls and Boys, Big Ideas, The Fun House, It’s So Magic, The Greatest of Marlys and Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

          Lynda Barry’s genre defying work What It Is won the comic industry’s 2009 Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Work. Equal-parts guidebook and manifesto, it questions what it means to write and draw pictures—examining every step from how the mind creates images to how the pen hits the page. Chasing the big question on the cover itself, ("What Is an Image?") Barry dives down the rabbit hole by posing a series of other big questions. For example, one drawings asks “Can Images Exist Without Thinking?” followed by, “Can Thinking Exist Without Images?” Another asks “Where Is a Story Before It Becomes Words?”, and so on.

          The richly textured collages mix lines culled from textbooks and old children’s books, envelope lists and school exercises, into Barry’s nimble comic drawings. Here, Lynda Barry’s canvas is lined, yellow legal paper, evoking the fluid movement possible between writing and drawing: the pairing central to the tradition of comic art. Vanity Fair describes the project as “a bathysphere-like odyssey through the depths of her funky subconscious.”

          What It Is grapples especially with how, somewhere on the road from childhood to adulthood, we lose our confidence and sense of ease expressing ourselves on paper. In his review of What It Is in the Boston Globe, Dan Wasserman dubbed it “the moment around sixth grade when someone in the class gets anointed ‘the artist’ and everyone else stops drawing.” The latter half of drawings from the book seek to dislodge these hang-ups and inhibitions, with generous anecdotes, exercises, jokes, and advice from Barry’s own creative process.

           Lynda Barry first created Ernie Pook’s Comeek in 1979 at age 23. It became a syndicated alternative weekly comic strip that ran for over 20 years, in 200 newspapers. In addition to her comic works, Barry has written two illustrated novels. She later adapted The Good Times Are Killing Me into a Broadway play. She has received two Will Eisner awards, The American Library association’s Alex award, the Washington State governor’s award, the Wisconsin Library Associations RR Donnelly Award. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum and the The Library of Congress, among others. Barry lives and works in Wisconsin where she is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin (Madison).

The opening reception for the artist will be held on Friday, September 8th, from 6-8 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Playing?, 2006
What It Is - Page 45
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

What Are Toys?, 2006
What It Is - Page 46
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What, Where is a Story Before It Becomes Words?, 2006
What It Is - Page 44
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

Where Do Characters Come From?, 2006
What It Is - Page 47
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

Follow A Wandering Mind, 2006
What It Is - Page 48
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

To Follow A Wandering Mind, 2006
What It Is - Page 49
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Brings on a Sudden Thought?, 2006
What It Is - Page 50
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Is the Difference between Awake and Asleep?, 2006
What It Is - Page 55
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is the Difference Between a Ghost and an Image?, 2006
What It Is - Page 56
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Goes on in the House at Night?, 2006
What It Is - Page 57
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Types of Experience, 2006
What It Is - Page 58
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is a Monster, 2006
What It Is - Page 59
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Why Are Monsters in So Many Old Stories?, 2006
What It Is - Page 60
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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How Are Monsters Different?, 2006
What It Is - Page 61
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is Realization?, 2006
What It Is - Page 62
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Is A Mood?, 2006
What It Is - Page 67
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Can Images Exist Without Thinking?, 2006
What It Is - Page 68
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Are Thoughts?, 2006
What It Is - Page 69
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What Are Thoughts Made Of?, 2006
What It Is - Page 70
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is a Secret?, 2006
What It Is - Page 71
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is the Difference Between Lying and Pretending?, 2006
What It Is - Page 72
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Why Do Kids Like Making Marks That Make Shapes That Make Stories?, 2006
What It Is - Page 73
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

When Did You First Notice You Were Bad at Some Things?, 2006
What It Is - Page 74
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The Time for It, 2006
What It Is - Page 81
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Time and Place Are Always Together. Why?, 2006
What It Is - Page 82
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What Is Movement?, 2006
What It Is - Page 83
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is Self-Consciousness?, 2006
What It Is - Page 84
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Do You With You Could Sing?, 2006
What It Is - Page 86
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

Do You Wish You Could Write?, 2006
What It Is - Page 87
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

More About Meteors, 2006
What It Is - Page 88
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is Attachment?, 2006
What It Is - Page 94
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Is an Inclination?, 2006
What It Is - Page 95
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Makes Something Meaningful?, 2006
What It Is - Page 96
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Why Do Vampires Have No Reflections?, 2006
What It Is - Page 97
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is Reflection?, 2006
What It Is - Page 98
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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An Image Can Pass Through Time Intact, 2006
What It Is - Page 99
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Do You Have Something To Write With?, 2006
What It Is - Page 107
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

What Is Intention?, 2006
What It Is - Page 110
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

What Happens When We Put Worlds Together?, 2006
What It Is - Page 31
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

What Year Is It In Your Imagination?, 2006
What It Is - Page 7
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Why Do We Keep Bad Memories?, 2006
What It Is - Page 23
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

An Image Feels Different Than A Thought, 2006
What It Is - Page 34
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Can We Remember Something That We Can't Imagine?, 2006
What It Is - Page 35
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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Do Memories Have Mass?, 2006
What It Is - Page 36
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

Imaginary Friends, 2006
What It Is - Pages 25 - 28
Ink, watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Enemies, 2006
What It Is - Page 37
Ink, watercolor on paper
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75

 

 

76

 

 

77

 

 

78

 

 

79

 

 

80

 

I Started To Copy . . ., 2006
What It Is - Pages 75 - 80
Ink, watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2" each

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

 

101

102

 

103

 

104

 

105

I Turned 13 . . ., 2006
What It Is - Pages 100 - 105
Ink, watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2" each

 

 

 

 

 

117

 

 

118

 

119

 

 

120

 

 

121


122

My Teacher . . ., 2006
Ink, watercolor on paper
What It Is - Pages 117 - 122,
11" x 8 1/2"
each (6 pages)

 

 

 

I Could Go On . . ., 2006
What It Is - Page 136
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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wish1

Do You With You Could Write?, 2006
What It Is - Page 139
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wish2

Do You With You Could Write? (2), 2006
What It Is - Page 140
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Dogs (1), 2006
What It Is - Page 166
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Dogs (2), 2006
What It Is - Page 167
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Dogs (3), 2006
What It Is - Page 168
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Dogs (4), 2006
What It Is - Page 169
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Writing Kit, 2006
What It Is - Page 174
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Writing Kit, 2006
What It Is - Page 184
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Writing Kit, 2006
What It Is - Page 186
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Writing Kit, 2006
What It Is - Page 187
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Writing Kit, 2006
What It Is - Page 188
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

Your Activity Book, 2006
What It Is - Back Cover
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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What Is a Song?, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper

11" x 8 1/2"

What Is Dancing?, 2006
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

Notebook, c. 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper What It Is - Page 189
11" x 8 1/2"


 

 

January 4, 2006, 2006
What It Is - Page 195
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November 7, 2006, 2006
What It Is - Page 201
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December 28, 2005, 2005
What It Is - Page 198
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October 31st, 2006, 2006
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November 10th, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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November 26, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

November 1st, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
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December 8, 2005, 2005
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

December 3, 2006, 2006
What It Is - Page 205
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Why Bother - November 13, 2006, 2006
What It Is - Page 203
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

November 17, 2006, 2006
What It Is - Page 204
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

Little Women - November 13, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 


Oct. 9th 2004, 2006
What It Is - Page 191
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11" x 8 1/2"

 

Worry Not, 2006
Ink and watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Acknowledgements, 2006
What It Is - Page 210
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

November 6th, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

1947, 2006, 2006
Ink, watercolor, mixed media collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled (The Near-Sighted Monkey Does Laundry), 2010
Ink, watercolor on
paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Near-Sighted Monkey and the Dear Chicken Read the Paper, 2010
Ink, watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Eggs, 2010
Picture This - Page 137

Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

The Near-Sighted Monkey Wants To Race Ya, 2010
Ink, watercolor on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

   

 

Hairy Beatnik, 2010
Picture This - Page 44
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Taking Shape, 2010
Picture This - Page 52
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

Taking Shape, 2010
Picture This - Page 53
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

Taking Shape, 2010
Picture This - Page 54
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

Who Does a Shape Belong To?, 2010
Picture This - Page 56
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

Who Does a Shape Belong To?, 2010
Picture This - Page 57
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

Drawing Faces, 2010
Picture This - Page 60
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

Drawing Faces, 2010
Picture This - Page 61
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

Untitled, 2010
Picture This - Page 81
Ink, watercolor, collage on paper
11" x 8 1/2"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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