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Chris Ware


Chris Ware, often described as an “alternative cartoonist,” is best known as the creator of the Acme Novelty Library, publications in various formats that feature the adventures of such characters as Quimby the Mouse and Jimmy Corrigan. Not quite comic books, yet not quite graphic novels, Ware’s work mines art history, popular culture, and personal experience, capturing a queasy sense of reality of modern life in a “retro” style distinctly his own.

Ware’s work is notable for its clean, compelling design and the complexity of its storytelling. Characters morph from one recognizable graphic style to another as the often convoluted plots move from the present to the past to the future. His style has a timeless quality, and has been described as having “the sense that you’re entering a world viewed through rose-tinted glasses, shattered though they may be.” Ware also creates three-dimensional constructions and kinetic assemblages based on his characters and their environments. For this, his first solo museum exhibition in Chicago, Ware presents works he created when he first moved to the city over a decade ago, and works from his recent series set in a Chicago apartment building.

Chris Ware attended the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-1980s and graduate school at the School of Art at the Institute of Chicago in the early 1990s. Chris Ware's book, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth(2000), received the Guardian First Book Award and his work was selected for the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

This exhibition is organized by MCA Curator Lynne Warren.


Support for the exhibition is provided in part by Jennifer Aubrey.

Official airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art