Fri 10 - Sun 19 November 2017

Art Spiegelman + Phillip Johnston - Wordless

LONDON Barbican
Silk Street

The celebrated cartoonist opens the festival with his brand new show Wordless! – an innovative hybrid of slides, talk, and musical performance created in collaboration with acclaimed jazz composer Phillip Johnston

In his Pulitzer prize-winning masterpiece Maus - a moving father-son memoir about the Holocaust drawn with cats and mice - Art Spiegelman changed the definition of comics. Here he collaborates with Philip Johnstonon a show that expands the possibilities of the medium.

As a performance, Wordless! transforms the intimate act of reading comics into a group experience. Spiegelman leads you on a tour of the first graphic novels - silent picture stories made by early 20th-century masters like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross - alongside a new work of his own drawn specifically for this show, Shaping Thought. Both the images on screen, and Spiegelman’s own infectious enthusiasm for the graphic novel are enhanced by Johnston’s swinging score, performed by his jazz sextet The Silent Six.

‘Spiegelman delights in undermining stuffy theory, letting Johnston’s music burst in to express his joy on seeing the stories that flash before us’ (Paris Review)

On sale 10am Friday 24 June.