Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss to the many who grew up with his books, is best remembered for his whimsical stories and playfully surreal visuals, leaving behind iconic characters and psychedelic worlds filled with moral lessons. On June 13 POP International Galleries in midtown Manhattan opened an exhibition of never-before-shown, privately-owned reproductions od artworks by the artist, and images from his popular children’s books created during his seventy-year career.
While many of the pieces in the show are familiar sold-out editions of illustrations from his books, the show also features reproductions of sculptures and artworks the artist created separately, and very privately, for his own enjoyment. Some highlights include a surreal and dark painting titled, “The Stag at Eve,” depicting plump, fluffy, orange deer drinking from a well at the center of several halls and staircases which could be taken straight from M.C. Escher etching. Another, “Racing North to Get Cool” (above), shows a school of goldfish chugging past an island oasis toward “McElligot’s Pool” 1,523 miles north against a blinding, striated orange sunset — the title eerily prescient in light of global climate change.
And while it may have just been a coincidence when Seuss titled the piece, he was known for packing his stories and images with social and political messages of peace and tolerance, which his own private artworks embody no less.
The exhibition is on view through July 6th, with a portion of the sales going to the New York-based non-profit charity Creative Arts Workshops for Kids, which supports under-served children’s arts programming.
— Alanna Martinez
(All Images courtesy POP International Galleris, From top to bottom: “Racing North to Get Cool”; “Freebird”; “Unorthodox Taxidermy.”)