The exhibition “Women in Comics”, curated by Kim Munson and the legendary Trina Robbins, arrives in Rome directly from New York. The extraordinary group exhibition of 25 artists who have made “the history of North American comics”, is scheduled from May 28 to July 11 at Palazzo Merulana and is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Italy and co-produced by ARF! Festival and Comicon.
The original exhibition was staged only once in 2020 at the Gallery of the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York, the professional association founded by Henry S. Fleming in 1901 (now directed by Anelle Miller) which, in addition to exhibitions, has produced and published “Illustrators Annual” every year since 1959, considered one of the most important illustration catalogs in the world.
Composed of 90 original works, the exhibition “Women in Comics” offers a history of self-determination in North American comics, from the vintage comics of the 1950s to the more authorial graphic novel, exploring themes such as love, sexuality, creativity, discrimination, and independence, through the psychedelia of the 1970s and underground comics, to the contemporary mainstream scene of Marvel and DC Comics.
“This exhibition,” emphasizes curator Kim Munson, “is a representation of the wide range and diversity of women working in comics and the many genres in which they are working, whether it be personal memoirs, children’s stories, superhero stories, epic/fantasy genres, or even in graphic journalism and editorial graphics.”
Alongside the works of Trina Robbins, a true “militant” icon of underground comics and feminist activism who in 1986 was the first cartoonist in history to draw Wonder Woman for a major company like DC Comics, will feature original works by Afua Richardson and Alitha Martinez, Colleen Doran, Emil Ferris and Ann Telnaes. And more: Ebony Flowers, Trinidad Escobar, Tillie Walden, Joyce Farmer and, as a surprise, only for the Italian edition, also the drawings of Raina Telgemeier.
“When the U.S. Embassy in Rome – says Stefano “S3Keno” Piccoli, director of ARF! and curator of the Italian edition of Women in comics – had proposed to us to bring this exhibition to Italy, we were immediately enthusiastic. Not only because it is perfectly coherent with the lines of ethics and human rights that we have always expressed with ARF! Festival, but also for the artistic and cultural level of the authors involved. At Palazzo Merulana, moreover, there will be some meetings with five professionals of Italian comics: Katja Centomo, Lorenza Di Sepio, Annalisa Leoni, Maria Grazia Mirabella and Simona Binni”.