School of Visual Arts will honor prolific illustrator and faculty member Steve Brodner with the 31st annual Masters Series Award and Exhibition in 2019. “The Masters Series: Steve Brodner” will be a comprehensive retrospective of his celebrated career and include never-before-seen political art and illustration work set along a timeline covering the past five decades. The exhibition will be on view from October 5 through November 2 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City. Admission is free and open to the public.
Brodner has shown a mastery of the editorial idiom throughout his 50-year career as an illustrator, author, educator and political commentator. His inimitable work, which encompasses caricature, satire, essay and even original reporting, has appeared in such publications as The Atlantic, Esquire, GQ, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Playboy and Rolling Stone; and he is a regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Hollywood Reporter, The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review and Harper’s. In 2008, he received a career retrospective at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, making him the first living illustrator to claim this honor. His other awards include distinctions from the Society of Illustrators, Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers, Society of Newspaper Designers, American Illustration and Communication Arts. At SVA, Brodner teaches undergraduate and continuing education students, in the classroom and online.
Brodner’s pen acts as a weapon to challenge the status quo and create awareness of injustices that affect our society and the world at large. Since graduating from Cooper Union in New York City in 1976, Brodner has embedded himself within the canon and tradition of American Graphic commentators, while also seeking to expand the boundaries of the form.
In addition to his editorial work, Brodner has illustrated and edited animation for television, including for ABC Disney’s The Alec Baldwin Show; written and directed political films for PBS; produced September, 2001, a documentary on the unaccounted-for victims of the 9/11 attacks, which premiered as a special tribute at the Sundance Film Festival (2002); and authored several books, including Artists Against the War (2011), all while teaching new generations of artists at SVA. Last year, Brodner co-curated “Art As Witness: Political Graphics 2016-18,” an exhibition at the SVA Chelsea Gallery that featured over 200 politically charged works from 53 artists who, like Brodner, use satire to pack a political punch. “Art as Witness” received rave reviews.
In addition to the Masters Series exhibition, SVA will host an opening reception at the gallery on Thursday, October 10, 6:00 – 8:00pm. An artist’s talk with Brodner will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 7:00pm at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street. This lecture will also be livestreamed (link). All events are free and open to the public.
In 1988, SVA founder Silas H. Rhodes instituted SVA’s Masters Series, an award and exhibition honoring great visual communicators of our time. Although the achievements of many groundbreaking designers, illustrators, art directors and photographers are known to and lauded by their colleagues, their names often go unrecognized by the general public. The Masters Series brings greater exposure to those whose influence has been felt strongly and by many, yet without widespread recognition.
Masters Series laureates are Marshall Arisman, Saul Bass, Michael Bierut, R.O. Blechman, Roz Chast, Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour Chwast, Paul Davis, Lou Dorfsman, Heinz Edelmann, Jules Feiffer, Louise Fili, Shigeo Fukuda, Tom Geismar, Milton Glaser, April Greiman, Steven Heller, George Lois, Mary Ellen Mark, Ed McCabe, James McMullan, Duane Michals, Christoph Niemann, Tony Palladino, Paula Scher, Edward Sorel, Deborah Sussman, George Tscherny, Paul Rand and Massimo Vignelli.