2 Granary Square,
A rare opportunity to explore extensive but little-known production designs by celebrated political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, with storyboards, costumes and props from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Disney’s Hercules and English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Discover an imagination that is acerbic, explosive and unmistakable, both off and on the page.
On 22 September 2017 House of Illustration opens the first major show of Gerald Scarfe’s striking production designs for theatre, rock, opera, ballet and film, many of which will be publicly exhibited for the very first time.
Gerald Scarfe is the UK’s most celebrated political cartoonist; his 50-year-long career at The Sunday Times reveals an imagination that is acerbic, explosive and unmistakable. But less well known is Scarfe’s lifelong contribution to the performing arts and his hugely significant work beyond the page, designing some of the most high-profile productions of the last 30 years.
This exhibition will be the first to explore Scarfe’s extraordinary work for stage and screen. It will feature over 100 works including preliminary sketches, storyboards, set designs, photographs, ephemera and costumes from productions including Orpheus in the Underworld at English National Opera, The Nutcracker by English National Ballet and Los Angeles Opera’s The Magic Flute.
It will also show his 1994 work as the only ever external Production Designer for Disney, for their feature film Hercules, as well as his concept, character and animation designs for Pink Floyd’s 1982 film adaptation of The Wall. Scarfe’s surreal and often grotesque artwork cemented The Wall’s iconic status in pop culture.
Known for his uncompromising satire in print, Scarfe started drawing for Punch in the 1960s and went on to work as The Sunday Times’ political cartoonist for 50 years, from 1967 until his retirement earlier this year.