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Lot 166, Auction 12/5/2017: Michael McMillan Limited Edition Print - 105 / 250

Michael McMillan (American, b. 1933), untitled limited edition print, signed in pencil by the artist, dated 1991, and numbered 105/250. Michael McMillan, best known for his groundbreaking work as a cartoonist, has had an extensive career and worked in various media - as an abstract expressionist painter, a graphic designer, a sculptor, a cartoonist, a filmmaker, and a printmaker. In 1929, the Pasadena, California native attended an exhibit by the art group Hairy Who at the Art Institute of San Francisco that made in immense impression on the young artist. The Hairy Who was an ensemble of six artists who wished to set themselves apart from the New York art scene and drew upon Surrealism, Art Brut, and comic books for inspiration. McMillan was intrigued by the clever cartoon imagery created by these artists and soon became fascinated by comics. He picked up a copy of Zap Comix #1 at the City Lights bookstore, drew pages of Terminal Comics, and eventually visited Zap publisher Don Donahue who would later publish some of his work. This print presents a fascinating composition, juxtaposing a ticket that reads, "Pacific Ocean Park, Inc. Santa Monica, Calif., FLIGHT TO MARS, Admit One 50¢" beneath a graphic that includes from left to right, a film noir inspired silhouette image of a cop (or robber?) holding a gun with a speech bubble that reads, "HEY! YOU BETTER GO INSIDE ---", a black and white skyline with a floating dirigible, another comic-inspired image that includes a person in profile whose mouth and nose are covered with a cloth or liquid before a dark, starry sky with a speech bubble that reads, "YEP --- IT'S TRUE", all above sideways crossword puzzle and beige and white printed pattern. Clearly McMillan drew upon his interest in Surrealism, comic art, and one might argue Dadaism to create this collage-like juxtaposition. Size: 16.5" L x 18" W (41.9 cm x 45.7 cm); framed and matted 24.25" L x 25" W (61.6 cm x 63.5 cm)

Condition: Choice

Provenance: Ex-private Morgan collection, Santa Monica, CA

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