I've long loved her New Yorker covers, and am still over the moon about the illustrated version of Strunk and White's classic The Elements of Style from 2005, so I leapt at the chance to meet illustrator and painter Maira Kalman this morning. Today, Maira Kalman: Various Illustrations (of a Crazy World), the first large retrospective of her work, opens at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and runs through October 26th. The show began at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and it was my great good fortune to chat with the show's curator Ingrid Schaffner as well. I meandered through the gallery with Maira and Ingrid both chatting about Maira's work, her collections of ephemera on display alongside her paintings (buckets, ladders, and suitcases abound), and what, if anything, makes her work particularly Jewish.
July 1, 2010