“Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons from The New Yorker” Exhibition

The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators

poster for “Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons from The New Yorker” Exhibition
[Image: Anatol Kovarsky "Artist in a hammock stuck between two sculptures" Circa 1950 Ink on board]

This event has ended.

Anatol Kovarsky’s line was as light and assured as his humor. His technique was so light, so full of life. How wonderful to have a new page in Kovarsky’s world!
-Mo Willems

The Society of Illustrators presents an exhibition of New Yorker cartoons and covers from the skillful hand of cartoonist Anatol Kovarsky.

Kovarsky’s span as a contributor to The New Yorker yielded 40 covers and nearly 300 cartoons, along with a collection, Kovarsky’s World, published by Knopf in 1956. Although he largely vanished from the cartooning world in the early 1970s to focus on fine art, his work has long remained an inspiration to the cognoscenti of mid-century cartooning culture.

John Lind, co-curator of the exhibition, says of the work, “Kovarsky’s clever cartoons, many of which focus on contemporary artists of the 1950s and early 1960s, rank among some of my favorite contributions from that era’s New Yorker cartoonists. His subtle jabs at the work of Calder, Lichtenstein, and Henry Moore are the type of observational and witty critiques that only a cartoonist can provide.”

The exhibition, which is on display from January 4th to March 3rd, 2018, represents the first solo exhibition of Kovarsky’s covers and cartoons. It was organized and co-curated by John Lind and Gina Kovarsky.

Anatol Kovarsky (1919-2016) was born in Moscow and studied art in Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1941, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During World War II, he was assigned as a cartoonist for publications including Yank and Stars and Stripes.

Beginning in the 1940s, Kovarsky developed into a prolific cartoonist and illustrator, contributing 40 covers and nearly 300 cartoons to The New Yorker between 1947 and 1969. Kovarsky’s drawings appeared in the pages of numerous other publications as well, including Colliers, Life, Look, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, and The Herald Tribune. Knopf published a book of his drawings, Kovarsky’s World, in 1956. He also was the illustrator of several books and provided projection designs for Broadway’s original run of The Owl and the Pussycat (1964) at the American National Theatre and Academy Playhouse.

In the 1970s, Kovarsky shifted his main focus from cartooning to fine art, and his paintings were shown in several solo exhibitions throughout New York City. In addition to the work in his extensive personal archives, Kovarsky’s cartoons and covers reside in the collections of New York’s Morgan Library & Museum; the Caricature & Cartoon Museum in Basel, Switzerland; and the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

John Lind is the creative director and co-founder of Kitchen Sink Books, an imprint of Dark Horse Comics. His recent projects include Frank Miller’s Sin City Curator’s Collection, TRUMP: The Complete Collection, and the forthcoming Will Eisner’s A Contract with God Curator’s Collection.

Gina Kovarsky is the daughter of Anatol Kovarsky. She graduated from Yale University with a BA in English and holds a PhD in Slavic languages from Columbia University. She teaches Russian and International Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.



from January 12, 2018 to March 03, 2018

Opening Reception on 2018-01-12 from 18:30 to 22:00


Anatol Kovarsky

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