Chris Ware was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1967. Known for his New Yorker magazine covers, he’s hailed as a master of the comic art form. Ware’s complex graphic novels tell stories about people in suburban Midwestern neighborhoods, poignantly reflecting on the role memory plays in constructing identity. Stories featuring many of Ware’s protagonists—Quimby the Mouse, Rusty Brown, and Jimmy Corrigan—often first appear in serialized form, in publications such as The New York Times, the Guardian, or Ware’s own ongoing comic book series Acme Novelty Library, before being organized into their own stand-alone books.
Experimenting with the form of the novel itself, Ware’s Building Stories (which took a decade to complete) is a box set of fourteen printed works in a variety of formats—cloth-bound books, newspapers, pamphlets, and flip books—that can be read in any order. The artist’s hand-drawn, complex compositions unfold time through space in surprising arrangements which include pages entirely absent of words, radical shifts in scale, and characters, locations, and events seen from multiple points of view.
Chris Ware attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991-93) and the University of Texas at Austin (BFA, 1991). Ware’s awards include the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize (2013), United States Artists Fellowship (2006), Guardian First Book Award (2001) American Book Award (2000), and multiple Eisner Awards, Harvey Awards, and awards from the National Cartoonist’s Society. Ware’s publications have been cited as “best books” by Publisher’s Weekly (2012), the New York Times (2012), Time Magazine (2012), and The Times, London (2009). Ware has had major exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago (2014-15); Sheldon Museum of Art (2007); MCA Chicago (2006); Jewish Museum, New York (2006); and the Whitney Biennial (2002), among others. Chris Ware lives and works in Oak Park, IL, USA.
A look at this week’s art news, including a special Time Magazine project honoring women, and events and exhibitions from Paris to Philadelphia.
In August, Art21 released the final two “Summer of Shorts” films, published new magazine articles and a new playlist.