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Satire Inspires at the Sherman Gallery

David Ording (CFA’96) mixes classics, cartoons

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In his latest exhibition, David Ording combines the master paintings of the 1800s with a less highly regarded art form: caricatures and cartoons.

In David Ording: Bonjour Monsieur Courbet, Ording (CFA’96) used cartoons mocking the works of Gustave Courbet, one of the foremost realist painters of 19th-century France. Ording collected the caricatures from mid-19th-century journals and newspapers that critiqued the paintings of the day.

“I took the cartoons and combined them with the original paintings — the colors, the texture — to see if they could synchronize or mix,” says Ording, who re-created Courbet’s large paintings using the outlandish faces and poses from the cartoons. “The cartoons help explain what was radical at the time.”

“I was surprised by how many cartoons showed up alongside the Impressionists, for example,” he says. “It shows how painting really mattered at one point, that people went to see large exhibits of paintings. The salons instructed the public about what art should be, and it’s interesting that if someone strayed from that, he would be attacked.”

David Ording: Bonjour Monsieur Courbet is at the GSU’s Sherman Gallery, 775 Commonwealth Ave., second floor, through February 29. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit online, or call 617-358-0295. Admission is free and open to the public.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.

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