Contemporary art gallery According to McGee is ready to launch ‘The beano is 80’ exhibition this Saturday. Featuring the art of Horace Panter, possibly best known as bassist for ska legends The Specials but now an internationally celebrated Pop Artist, the show promises to be a crucial event for lovers of pop culture in the UK.
It is the third time Panter has exhibited at According to McGee. Previous exhibitions have featured Panter’s nostalgic take on the music scene as well as highly stylised portraits of Americana. This, ‘Horace Panter & the Beano’s 80th Birthday Collection’, is a celebration of characters from the Beano and has already generated excitement from art collectors and comic enthusiasts alike.
Says gallery director Ails McGee, "When we started as a gallery there was no Twitter or Instagram. Much of the groundswell of interest for this show has come from social media, and Horace’s appearance on BBC Breakfast’s sofa has led directly to four big pre-exhibition sales. It’s a big happening, and we want to get it just right. We’re mindful that there’s a lot of attention on the exhibition - we’re the first gallery outside of London to exhibit the collection, and we’re absolutely committed to give both Pop Art and Beano comic aficionados an event to remember. By any standards, this is an important Pop Art exhibition and is not only a real coup for us but it’s a good result for Yorkshire’s cultural scene. Pop Art is in very fine fettle and Horace continues to blaze the trail."
Greg McGee: "The Beano has been part of Britain’s visual landscape for decades. On some levels, it’s a very lighthearted exhibition, but there’s no mistaking the characters’ punk credentials. Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx were disruptors before Johnny Rotten was born! And to have Horace Panter, who was so instrumental in kickstarting ska-punk with The Specials, mediate the characters through his own Pop Art filter is hugely exciting and relevant. We have Dennis and Gnasher diving into Hockney’s LA swimming pool. Minnie the Minx becomes a Warholian starlet and Lord Snooty becomes a Lichenstein frame, complete with Ben Day dots. The Bash Street Kids invade the high art world of Koons and Hirst. Comic strip characcters are rarely as collectible as this, and with the massive originals and limited edition fine art prints, there’s something for everyone."
Horace is glad to be bringing his Beano portraits to the North: "I’m really pleased to be back in York with this exhibition. The Beano’s 80th birthday celebrations deserve as wide an audience as possible, and According to McGee gallery is in the centre of York."
Says Ails, "York is the biggest recipient of tourists in the North. Often, that’s down to its heritage. If this Pop Art exhibition adds to the more modern, contemporary list of reasons to come to York, then our work here is done."
Horace Panter & the Beano’s 80th Birthday Collection starts at According to McGee, Tower Street, York, May 19th. [email protected] for details and invitations.
Exhibition runs until Saturday June 9th.According To McGee